Tulare County firefighters announce “Fill the Boot” fundraiser for Muscular Dystrophy Association


TULARE COUNTY – Members of fire departments throughout Tulare County, along with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and MDA families, united yesterday in Tulare to kick-off the 2017 fall Fill the Boot fundraising season to help kids and adults in our home towns living with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related muscle-debilitating diseases. Local city officials, first responders, and MDA families and staff gathered at the Tulare fire station at 800 South Blackstone St. to drop the “first dollar” in a golden fire boot. This fall fire departments all over the valley will be filling their boots to fund better treatments, and much needed local services such as Summer Camp, Medical Equipment Loans, MDA Care Centers, and Support Groups across the valley.

MDA’s spirited Fill the Boot campaign is an honored tradition in which thousands of dedicated fire fighters in hometowns across America hit the streets or storefronts asking pedestrians, motorists, customers and other passersby to make a donation to MDA.

More than 120 members of our local fire departments will participate in this year’s Fill the Boot drive throughout October including:

  • Cal Fire TUU, Oct. 6, at Lover’s Lane & Walnut Avenue, Visalia
  • Tulare City Fire, Oct. 13, at Hillman & Prosperity avenues, Tulare
  • Visalia City Fire, Oct. 13, at Main/Court and Main/Locust streets, Visalia
  • Tulare County Fire, Oct. 27, Various locations throughout Tulare County
  • Woodlake City Fire, Oct. 27, Valencia & Naranjo, Woodlake

Funds raised through the 2017 Fill the Boot events help support MDA’s efforts to fund groundbreaking research to accelerate treatments and cures, and provide care and support, including services provided at the MDA Care Centers located at Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera, and Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno. Firefighter’s efforts also help send kids living with muscular dystrophy and related life-threatening diseases to a weeklong, barrier-free MDA Summer Camp at camp Tuolumne Trails in Groveland, Calif., which is a beautiful wheelchair accessible camp right outside of Yosemite National Park.

Last fall, members of the Tulare County Professional Fire Fighters L4757 raised $37,064 during the “Fill The Boot” campaign. Candice Burns, executive director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association – Central California Chapter, said that was good for eighth place in the entire state during a report to the Tulare County Board of Supervisors in February.

“They raised thousands more than some of the richest communities in the state, like Marin, Orange, Ventura and San Diego counties,” Burns said. “Our communities in Tulare County are so giving. I’m so honored and privileged to be a part of it.”

Tulare County Professional Fire Fighters L4757, a local chapter of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), concentrated their efforts on Tulare County fire stations throughout the area. Station 20 in Doyle Colony alone raised $5,523. In addition to the countywide chapter of the IAA, several city departments and volunteer associations independently raised thousands of dollars. Both the Tulare and Porterville City Fire Associations raised $6,650 and $7,022, respectively while the county’s two smallest fire departments, the Woodlake Fire District and Farmersville Fire Department, raised $2,234 and $3,387, respectively. Burns said the firefighters of Tulare County have raised more funds in each of the last three years for a total of nearly $100,000.

IAFF is MDA’s largest national partner. Although some of our local fire departments are not affiliated with the IAFF, these departments still honor their annual fill the boot tradition to help our local families affected by muscle disease and ALS. IAFF support for MDA began in 1954 when the organization committed by proclamation to support MDA until a cure is found. To date, the IAFF has raised over $583 million for MDA to support families with muscle debilitating diseases and accelerate treatments and cures.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association is the world’s leading nonprofit health agency dedicated to finding treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neuromuscular diseases.

Visit mda.org and follow them on facebook.com/MDAnational and Twitter @MDAnews.

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