Local firefighters raise over $16,000 for MDA
September 22, 2016
If you were out and about in Grand County over the Labor Day Weekend you might have noticed some of our local firefighters participating in the annual fundraising event for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) known as Fill the Boot. The annual fundraiser for the MDA is held in conjunction with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF).
Over the course of the long holiday weekend local firefighters, department staff members and volunteers stood on street corners, in intersections and in front of local grocery stores asking citizens to donate what they could to one of the nation's most well-known charitable organizations.
Funds raised during the campaign go to help children and adults who suffer from muscular dystrophy, ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) and related diseases that weaken muscle strength and impact an individual's mobility. The donations also go towards the MDA's summer camps for children and public health education campaigns among other programs.
Multiple fire departments in Grand County participated with the firefighters from Grand Lake, Granby and the Fraser/Winter Park area raising over $16,600 between their three departments alone. The Firefighters from the East Grand Fire Protection District, serving the Winter Park/Fraser area, raised a shade over $3,600. The department's Fill the Boot program is overseen by Lisa MacKendrick who had the firefighters asking for donations at Safeway in Fraser.
The Grand Fire Protection District (GFPD), serving the Granby area, managed to raise over $4,000 while seeking donations at City Market in Granby. Willa Moore, Administrative Assistant for the GFPD, oversees the department's Fill the Boot initiative.
The Grand Lake Fire Protection District, serving the Grand Lake area, managed to raise a whopping $9,000, well above the $2,500 goal the department set for itself.
Lieutenant Blake Mertz, who helps oversee the campaign for the Grand Lake Fire Dept., stated, "We couldn't have done it with out their (the public's) generosity! We want to express our sincerest gratitude to all who contributed toward this great cause."
While the Grand Lake Fire Protection District was able to raise over $9,000 for the MDA in 2016 it is not the first time the department has participated in Fill the Boot. Grand Lake Fire members have raised funds for the organization in previous years as well.
The Fill the Boot initiative is a tradition for many fire departments throughout the nation and has been operating since 1954. According to data from the MDA website more than 100,000 firefighters participated in the program in 2015. Nation wide participation data for 2016 was not yet available. Over half-a-billion dollars have been raised by firefighters and others for the MDA through the Fill the Boot campaign over the years with $25 million alone raised in 2015.