Fill The Boot

CAPE MAY - The Cape May Fire Department Professional Firefighters Local 3495 will show their support for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) as its members kick off the annual Fill the Boot fundraising campaign to help kids and adults with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related muscle-debilitating diseases live longer and grow stronger, according to a statement.

Continuing a more than 60 year tradition, 17 dedicated firefighters from IAFF Local 3495 will hit the Cape May Boardwalk with boots in hand asking pedestrians, motorists, customers and other passersby to make a donation to MDA on July 4 during the fireworks.

“We are thrilled to be working with the Cape May Fire Department to Fill the Boot to help provide the funds needed to find treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases that severely limit strength and mobility,” said Amanda Sweet, executive director. “The dedication of these fire fighters to MDA's mission is unwavering, spending countless hours both with Fill the Boot and MDA Summer Camp to care for the kids and adults in Greater Philadelphia, South Jersey, and Northern Delaware. We know that their devotion to our families will make this year's drive a success."

Funds raised through the Cape May Fill the Boot event in 2017 empower families who inspire everyday Americans to help kids and adults with Muscular dystrophy and related muscle-debilitating diseases live longer and grow stronger, displaying how we all can truly live unlimited no matter what limits we may face.

Contributions also help fund groundbreaking research and life-enhancing programs such as state-of-the-art support groups and MDA Care Centers at Temple University Hospital, Hospital of University of Pennsylvania, ALS Center at Pennsylvania Hospital, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia and Nemours/A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Delaware. They also help send more than 50 local kids to "the best week of the year" at MDA summer camp at Variety Club - all at no cost to their families.

In addition to Fill the Boot drives, firefighter contributions from year-round local events, including social events, golf events, and t-shirt sales help support MDA's efforts to raise awareness and provide professional and public education about neuromuscular diseases.

MDA and IAFF Partnership

As MDA's largest national partner, the IAFF fuels MDA's mission to find research breakthroughs across diseases; care for kids and adults from day one; and provide families with services and support.

IAFF support for MDA began in 1954 when the organization committed by proclamation to support MDA until a cure is found, and the organization's unwavering commitment to MDA has remained strong to this day. The IAFF raised $100,000 for MDA in 1955, and $1 million in 1970, and fire fighters continue to raise the bar in their fundraising efforts. In 2016, more than 100,000 firefighters participated in Fill the Boot events across the country and raised $25.5 million. To date the IAFF has raised $585,500,000 for MDA.

About the IAFF

The International Association of Fire Fighters represents more than 300,000 professional firefighters and paramedics who protect 85 percent of the nation's population. More than 3,200 affiliates and their members protect communities in every state in the United States and in Canada.

About MDA

MDA is leading the fight to free individuals - and the families who love them - from the harm of muscular dystrophy, ALS and related muscle-debilitating diseases that take away physical strength, independence and life. We use our collective strength to help kids and adults live longer and grow stronger by finding research breakthroughs across diseases; caring for individuals from day one; and empowering families with services and support in hometowns across America.

For more information, see mda.org.

Middle Township Gazette reporter. Call me anytime you have news for the paper or the website. 609-365-6176