Firefighters ‘Fill the Boot’ for muscular dystrophy
The Anchorage Fire Department hit the street for Fill the Boot, the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s (MDA) largest fundraiser, Friday.
More than 200 firefighters collected donations from drivers at 13 intersections.
Last year they raised $105,000; this year they’re hoping to top that at $112,000. Shortly before 9:45 p.m. MDA director Erika Shedlarski said after a preliminary count, they think they hit their goal.
Muscular dystrophy is a degenerative disease that impacts a person’s muscles and strips them of their ability to walk and talk. There is no cure for it.
The money raised goes to help send kids with muscular dystrophy to camp, pay for equipment and fund medical research.
Erika Shedlarski, the executive director for MDA Alaska, said Fill the Boot is about more than just money though.
“Having these guys on the corner and holding out boots for their community and having the community support our families gives them hope,” Shedlarski said. “It’s a rare disease, so it’s an opportunity for our families to look around and say, ‘I’m not alone in this fight.'”
The Anchorage Fill the Boot campaign only lasts three hours every year but Shedlarski said firefighters here can raise more in that time than other departments can raise in two days.
“It’s a cool, good feeling. We have a good time out here,” said Station 12 Cpt. Mike Melchert. His crew and firefighters from Station 9 took over the corner of Dimond and Old Seward.
“The community is great and generous and they help us out,” Melchert said.
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