Members of the Charlottesville Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 2363 and Charlottesville Fire Department, along with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, kicked off the fire fighters’ annual Fill the Boot fundraising campaign to benefit children and adults affected by muscle disease throughout the Charlottesville area.
CPFFA President Jess Rodzinka, CFD Fire Chief Charles Werner, local MDA Goodwill Ambassador Anna Harris, MDA staff and Charlottesville fire fighters gathered at Headquarters to drop the first bills in the boot today.
More than 80 members of the Charlottesville Fire Department will celebrate the 60-year MDA/IAFF partnership with this year’s drive. Starting Thursday, fire fighters will fan out across the city with boots in hand, August 21 through 24 at multiple intersections throughout the city, including Emmett Street and University Avenue. Over the last 15 years, Charlottesville Professional Fire Fighters have raised over $152,000 for the local MDA office.
“Throughout 2014 MDA and fire fighters are celebrating 60 years of proud partnership, joined together in the fight against life-threatening muscle disease,” said Executive Director Andrea Shaver. “Fire fighters in the area 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, wellbeing and quality of life, and we’re excited to make this year’s Charlottesville Fill the Boot campaign the most successful yet.”
Funds raised through 2014 Charlottesville Fill the Boot event 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 Airfield 4-H Conference Center in Wakefield, Virginia.
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 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 2013, more than 100,000 fire fighters participated in Fill the Boot events across the country and raised $26.2 million. To date the IAFF has raised $530 million for MDA.
About the IAFF
The International Association of Fire Fighters represents more than 300,000 professional fire fighters 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.