Special to the Journal
Members of the Belton Fire Department and Belton Professional Firefighters Association Local #4506, along with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, will kick off the fire fighters’ annual Fill the Boot fundraising campaign to help save and improve the lives of people fighting muscle disease in the Belton area. Muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other related life-threatening diseases take away people’s ability to walk, move, smile, talk and even breathe.
Members of the Belton Fire Department and Belton Professional Firefighters Association Local #4506 will fan out across the city at various intersections with boots in hand for this year’s drive on April 9th, 10th and 11th.
“For more than six decades fire fighters have stood on the front lines for MDA, striving to make a difference in the lives of those affected by muscle disease,” said Area Director, Katie Mitchell. “Fire fighters in the Belton area do more for MDA and the families we serve than any other group, dedicating countless hours of their time every year participating in Fill the Boot drives and at MDA Summer Camp. We’re grateful for the support of these inspiring, selfless individuals who have made a profound impact on our families’ health, wellbeing and quality of life, and we’re excited to make this year’s Belton Fill the Boot campaign the most successful yet.”
Funds raised through 2015 Belton Fill the Boot events build on decades of research progress, helping push science to its limits in the search for treatments and cures.
Dollars raised also help support MDA’s life-enhancing programs such as state-of-the-art support groups and MDA clinics. They also make MDA summer camp possible so kids with muscle disease can enjoy “the best week of the year” at Camp John Marc in Meridian, TX, and nearly 80 other locations nationwide.
As the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s largest national sponsor, the IAFF fuels MDA’s mission to find treatments and cures for life-threatening muscle diseases. In addition to Fill the Boot events, contributions from other local events hosted/sponsored by the IAFF help support MDA’s efforts to raise awareness and provide professional and public education about neuromuscular diseases.
IAFF support for MDA began in 1954 when the organization committed by proclamation to support MDA until a cure is found, and the organization’s unwavering commitment to MDA has remained strong to this day. The IAFF raised $100,000 for MDA in 1955, and $1 million in 1970, and fire fighters continue to raise the bar in their fundraising efforts. In 2013, more than 100,000 fire fighters participated in Fill the Boot events across the country and raised $26.2 million. To date the IAFF has raised $558 million for MDA.
The International Association of Fire Fighters represents more than 300,000 professional fire fighters and paramedics who protect 85 percent of the nation’s population. More than 3,200 affiliates and their members protect communities in every state in the United States and in Canada.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association is the world’s leading nonprofit health agency dedicated to saving and improving the lives of anyone with muscle disease, including muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neuromuscular diseases.