Monday, July 25, 2011

Janesville Fire Fighters Go Bootless for MDA

Janesville fire fighters will collect donations from motorists, customers and pedestrians in front of Shopko, Sunnyside Shopping Center and Big Lots. Come on out and help the fire fighters support MDA!

JANESVILLE, Wis., July 25, 2011–The Janesville Fire Department will go beyond the call of duty this month when they join in the battle against neuromuscular disease.

Janesville Local #580 will use their boots to collect money from motorists and pedestrians August 5, 6 and 12 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Fill-the-Boot program. The firefighters will be in front of Big Lots, 1714 Milton Avenue, Shopko, 2500 US Highway 14, and Sunnyside Shopping Center, 1902 West Court Street, from 3-6 p.m. August 5 and 12, and 9 a..m.-12 p.m. August 6.

 All donations will benefit local MDA clients and services by financing MDA Summer Camp in Kenosha County, clinic visits at UW Hopsital, and wheelchair and leg brace 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 MDA clients.

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 (608) 222-3269.

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