Firefighters to ’Fill the Boot’ for MDA

The Kern County Fire Department Ridgecrest Station and China Lake Federal Fire Department will conduct their annual Fill-the-Boot drive to raise funds for the Central Valley Muscular Dystrophy Association. On Saturday, Sept. 29, the Kern County firefighters will be at the intersection of China Lake and Ridgecrest boulevards, as well as in front of Albertson’s and Stater Bros. from 8-11 a.m.

Firefighters will ask motorists and shoppers to donate dollars and “Fill the Boot,” holding out their boots to accept donations. The Kern County Fire Department has been supporting MDA through its annual Fill the Boot drive since 2007 and has raised $41,465. Last year the firefighters raised $15,063. This is the second year that the Ridgecrest station has held a boot drive; last year it contributed $2,213 toward the grand total of $15,063.

There are 160 registered MDA clients in Kern County. With the help of the Kern County Fire Department, MDA can provide the following services to local families free of charge — monthly support groups, medical clinics, loan and repair of medical equipment and annual youth summer camp. MDA is the largest private sponsor of neuromuscular disease research in the world. MDA provides a pediatric clinic at Children’s Hospital of Central California and an adult clinic at University of California, San Francisco-Fresno.

MDA Summer Camp is designed for children with physical disabilities caused by muscle diseases. The site is at Camp Tuolumne Trails in Groveland, Calif., for children throughout the Central Valley. All activities are modified so children with disabilities can participate and have fun. Activities include swimming, fishing, arts and crafts, wheelchair sports and more.

The International Association of Fire Fighters has been a national sponsor of MDA for more than 55 years. The partnership between IAFF and MDA is sustained through the local union’s FTB drives. Please help the Kern County firefighters fill their boots on Sept. 29 or donate online by visiting www2.mda.org/goto/Ridgecrest. Everyone is inivited to attend the boot drive to witness the big-hearted firefighters and the community of Ridgecrest coming together to fight muscle diseases.

Story First Published: 2012-09-26