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Fill the Boot Campaign Kicks Off Holiday Weekend Events

The Labor Day Weekend Fill the Boot Campaign benefits the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Families, firefighters and other local supporters joined together Thursday to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association at the kick-off event of this year’s Fill the Boot Campaign.  

The kick-off, held at Fairfax County Fire Station 5, is part of the Labor Day weekend events organized by the Fairfax County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics in conjunction with the Fairfax Fire & Rescue Department, the Fairfax County Department of Public Safety Communications, Greater Washington Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and Subway Restaurants.

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 2068 has been raising money during the weekend campaign for 20 years. Seven of those 20 years, Local 2068 has been in the top three in the nation, competing with Los Angeles and Houston.

Members of Local 2068 collected more than $435,000 for Greater Washington MDA during last year’s Labor Day Weekend campaign. This year, their goal is to raise $475,000 that will help with medical care and summer camp for children with muscular dystrophy.

“Fill the Boot is our largest event. Our budget for Washington MDA is $1.8 million each year, and $800,000 of that is raised by Fairfax County and about $500,000 of it is raised by Station No. 5,” said Nadine Pottinga, executive director of Greater Washington MDA.

The firefighters do everything they can during the four-day campaign to raise as much money as possible, including starting a bit of competition.

“The station goal is to always raise as much as possible for the kids,” said Captain Smith Banks of Station No. 40. “It’s always a good thing, and there’s competition between stations and between different shifts.”

Captain Fred Brandell of No. 5 agreed with Smith, saying, “We just try to do the best for the kids.” Smith said the event is a great opportunity to talk to people and help a cause at the same time.

For the next four days, firefighters will be stationed at different intersections throughout Fairfax County, including West Ox Road and Fair Lakes, raising money for Greater Washington MDA.

“They’re a part of our family,” said Pottinga. “So we ask our citizens to look out for them and help them fill their boots.”

Jonathan Erickson September 01, 2012 at 12:24 PM
My sister-in law died from MS. We had asked for help when she became wheelchair bound and received no assistance. Donate to the United Way and get this form of begging off the roads where they have become a hazard!
Ruth Tatlock September 01, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Agree with Mr. Erickson! I'm a regular donor to the MS society, but I never give cash to anyone standing in the roads, yes, begging. Sorry, but that's how I feel. BTW, what does our police think about this?
Barbara Glakas September 01, 2012 at 01:50 PM
This traditional Labor Day Weekend Fill the Boot campaign has been going on around the country for almost 60 years. The Fairfax County Fire Department typically collects between $300,000 and $500,000 per year with this campaign which goes toward the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). People certainly don’t have to donate from their cars if they don’t want to. If this campaign posed any kind of significant traffic hazard I doubt the police would have allowed it to go on for so many decades. We should applaud the fire department for their good work.
Jonathan Erickson September 02, 2012 at 10:31 AM
Does the salary of $380,000.00 for the wiggley biggley of MDS bother you? Using your numbers we pay this guys salary for the year whoop tee do!
Barbara Glakas September 03, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Nope. I assume you may be speaking of the organization’s CEO? I don’t expect people to work for free, including those who run huge charity organizations. Seventy seven percent of the organization’s money goes toward research, services and education. And the organization (MDA, not MDS) gets the highest rating from the Better Business Bureau. Take note that my previous figures referred only to what the Fairfax County Fire department had raised. The Fill-the-Boot Campaign is a national campaign that goes on in many different counties all across the United States. So, all-in-all, the Fill-the-Boot Campaign has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to the cause of finding a cure for Muscular Dystrophy.
Jonathan Erickson September 03, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Free, he's working in the Presidents salary range, more then the VP or any member of Congress or the military. What has he done but be a glorified panhandler. It's not millions but billions if we are talking about Jerry's kids and the fundraising from that quarter. What have they produced? Lots of dead mice and???? Help me out! Maybe they got a good rating because the rest of the organizations are worse. Hurrah for the fire department but if the police are derelict and allow these people to be a road hazard then how do you stop any freeloader from panhandling on the roadside. Give em a warning then get then out of the way!

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