Firefighters in the Ozarks will be taking their boots to the streets between now and Labor Day continuing their support in the fight against muscular dystrophy and ALS.
Fill the Boot began in 1954 in Boston and has grown into the greatest fund-raiser in MDA history. A record 66 departments will be participating. Several of the departments began collecting as early as Memorial Day Weekend.
Each Fill the Boot is unique to the community.
“The Firefighters have a special dedication to MDA. They work so hard. The departments vary from all-volunteer to all-professional and a mix of both. The smaller departments also have great success, thanks to a generous public,” stated Jerry Bear, Executive Director of MDA.
Fill the Boot fuels MDA’s efforts to find research breakthroughs across diseases; to care for kids and adults from day one; and to empower families in hometowns across Missouri with services and support.
For the first time ever, local families have benefited from the latest research and are part of the drug treatment program. In 2016, the FDA granted accelerated approval for the first drug to treat the underlying cause of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). It also approved the first disease-modifying drug for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). There are 63 drugs pending approval by the FDA that will soon be available for use.
Funds raised through the Fill the Boot will also support MDA Care Centers located at Mercy Hospital in Springfield. Kids between 6-17 years old with muscular dystrophy attend a weeklong, barrier-free MDA Summer Camp at Camp Barnabas. Over one million people in the United States are affected by the 43-neuromuscular disease covered by MDA. That includes ALS. MDA has invested $325 million dollars in research and services since 1954.
Silver Dollar City will be honoring the Firefighters Labor Day. Firefighters will gather at Echo Hollow and Fireman’s Landing to appear on KOLR10-TV to announce their totals. Silver Dollar City will also be hosting an Ice Cream Social for all participating departments.
Fill the Boot has easily recognizable posters and banners and everyone donating will receive a sticker to put on the dashboard of their car. The sticker also contains Fire safety tips.