FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Check your couch cushions and get out your spare change. The MDA’s Fill the Boot campaign is days away. For 60 years now, the Muscular Dystrophy Association has been fundraising to help save and improve the lives of people fighting muscle diseases including Muscular dystrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
More than 300 members of the Fort Wayne Fire Department, all carrying boots, will be collecting change for the MDA throughout the city Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The 2014 Fill the Boot campaign raised $114,117.49, more than each of the previous four years, according to Ashley Zumstein, Executive Director of Fort Wayne’s MDA organization.
“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,” Zumstein said in a statement. “Fire fighters in the Fort Wayne 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.”
The funds raised through Fill the Boot also help support the MDA’s life-enhancing programs such as state-of-the-art support groups and clinics, including the MDA Clinic at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne.
The partnership between firefighters, specifically the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), and the MDA started in 1954. To date the IAFF has raised $558 million for the MDA.