Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Milwaukee Fire Fighters Remove Boots For MDA

MILWAUKEE, Wis., June 1, 2011Milwaukee County and South Milwaukee fire fighters will go beyond the call of duty this week when they join the battle against neuromuscular disease.

The fire fighters will use their boots to collect money from motorists and pedestrians for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual Fill the Boot fundraiser. Milwaukee County Local #1072 will be on the streets June 3 and June 10 from 3:30-6:30 p.m. at the intersection of Layton Ave. and Howard Ave.. South Milwaukee Local #1633 will collect June 3 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at the intersection of Rawson Ave. and Nicholson Ave.

The Milwaukee County and South Milwaukee fire departments hope to raise $7,500 and $5,000, respectively. 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.

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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