Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Milwaukee Area Fire Fighters Raise Over $18,000 for MDA

 Franklin native and MDA client, Leah Vogedes, 5, helps
Franklin fire fighters fill their boots during their collection
            June 8-9. 
MILWAUKEE, Wis., June 20, 2011South Milwaukee, Franklin and St. Francis fire fighters fought more than fires this month when they joined the battle against neuromuscular disease.

The fire fighters stood on various intersections in Milwaukee County and used their boots to collect over $18,000 from motorists and pedestrians for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual Fill the Boot fundraiser.

South Milwaukee Local #1633 collected Friday, June 3 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at the intersection of Rawson Ave. and Nicholson Ave.. They raised $5,878.02.

Franklin Local #2760 removed their boots June 8 and 9. The firefighters stood at 76th and Rawson Avenue, collecting $8,406.45. The department had to cancel the final collection June 10 due to inclement weather; however, they will be setting a rain date later this summer.

St. Francis Local #2717 stood on Howard Ave. and Rawson Ave. June 17. In just nine hours, the fire fighters collected $3,880.03.

All of the money collected during the Fill the Boot drives will benefit local MDA clients and services like sending children and young adults to MDA Summer Camp in Kenosha County, funding clinic visits at Froedtert Memorial Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, and financing wheelchair repairs.

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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