RHINELANDER, Wis., July 5, 2011–The Rhinelander Fire Department will help kick off the Hodag Country Festival this week by kicking off their boots for a good cause.
Rhinelander Local #1028 will use their boots to collect money at the intersection of North Stevens Street and County HWY W, July 7-9 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Fill-the-Boot program.
All donations will benefit local MDA clients and services like sending children and young adults to MDA Summer Camp in Green Lake, funding clinic visits at Prevea and Marshfield Clinic, 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 h