Members of the North Tonawanda Fire Department, along with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, will celebrate their 60-year-plus partnership today as firefighters continue to "Fill the Boot" for MDA to benefit children and adults affected by muscle disease throughout the Buffalo area.
Members of the North Tonawanda Fire Department Local No. 1333 will be in the street with boots in hand for this year's drive from 6:30 to 10 a.m. at the intersection of Payne Avenue and Walck Road.
"Throughout 2015, MDA and firefighters are celebrating 60-plus years of proud partnership, joined together in the fight against life-threatening muscle disease, said Sally Cramer, director of business development for the MDA. "Firefighters in the Greater Rochester and Buffalo areas do more for MDA and the families we serve than any other group, dedicating countless hours of their time every year participating in Fill the Boot drives and at MDA Summer Camp.
"We're grateful for the support of these inspiring, selfless individuals who have made a profound impact on our families' health, well-being and quality of life, and we're excited to make this year's Fill the Boot campaign the most successful yet."
Funds raised through 2015 Fill the Boot events will help support MDA's programs of worldwide research, specialized health care services and day-to-day support - which includes sending children affected by muscular dystrophy and related diseases to a weeklong, barrier-free MDA Summer Camp at the Rotary Sunshine Camp in Rush.
As the Muscular Dystrophy Association's largest national sponsor, the IAFF fuels MDA's mission to find treatments and cures for life-threatening muscle diseases. The IAFF is a major contributing sponsor of the MDA Show of Strength Telethon, and IAFF contributions from charity baseball games and other local events help support MDA's efforts to raise awareness and provide professional and public education about neuromuscular diseases.
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 commitment to MDA has remained strong to this day. The IAFF raised $100,000 for MDA in 1955, and $1 million in 1970, and firefighters continue to raise the bar in their fundraising efforts. In 2013, more than 100,000 firefighters participated in Fill the Boot events across the country and raised $26.2 million. To date the IAFF has raised over $530 million for MDA.