Thursday, June 2, 2011

Greenfield Fire Fighters Give Neuromuscular Disease the Boot

MDA Goodwill Ambassador Jacob Smith, 10, helped the Greenfield Fire Fighters collect over $30,000 last year and will be visiting the intersection of 76th and Layton during the June 9 collection to help the department meet their goal of $35,000.

GREENFIELD, Wis., June 2, 2011Greenfield Fire Fighters Local #1963 hope to raise over $35,000 during their annual street side collection for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
The fire fighters will remove their boots to collect money from motorists and pedestrians June 8-10 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the intersection of Layton Ave. and 76th St.

All donations will benefit local MDA clients and services like sending children and young adults to MDA Summer Camp in Camp Lake, funding clinic visits at Froedtert Memorial Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, and financing wheelchair repairs.

The department raised over $30,000 last year and hopes to surpass that during this year’s collection. Jacob Smith, the 2011 Southeastern Wisconsin Goodwill Ambassador will visit the fire fighters during the June 9 collection. Smith, 10, who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, will be attending Summer Camp in Camp Lake this year.     

MDA’s Fill-the-Boot program is supported by the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) and non-union fire departments across North America. Last year, Wisconsin fire fighters raised $600,000 for MDA.

The tradition began in 1952, when a father in desperate need ran to IAFF member George Graney’s Fire Engine Company 1 in South Boston.  IAFF Local 718 immediately rounded up 20 fire fighters and set in motion a door-to-door canister drive that raised $5,000.

Realizing the potential that fire fighters had to offer the cause and their excellent image in the community, Graney approached and persuaded other IAFF members to support MDA.  In August 1954, IAFF named MDA as their “charity of choice” and their signature fundraising activity has been the MDA Fill-the-Boot drive.  The IAFF has emerged as the single-largest sponsor of MDA, contributing nearly $300 million since 1954 – all to benefit Jerry’s kids.  

MDA is a voluntary health agency working to defeat 43 neuromuscular diseases through programs of worldwide research, comprehensive services and far-reaching professional and public health education.  For more information about MDA’s programs and services, call (262) 432-7992.                 

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