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Firefighters to raise money for MDA this weekend

February 27, 2019
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Pine Island firefighters will take to the 4-way intersection on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 1, 2 and 3, to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Southwest Florida.

"Our entire department participates over the three days to raise this money," Fire Chief Ben Mickuleit said. "Last year our Pine Island department raised $12,973.23 that's more than the year before."

"Whether it's pocket change or more, every little bit helps," firefighters' union rep Bobby Barr said. "All of the money raised goes to MDA to fund the research for new treatments, to support MDA care centers and to send kids to MDA summer camp."

"The summer camp program is very special," Barr said. "The camp offers a most amazing week for youths from 8 to 18 because the camp is completely wheelchair accessible. The campers can go on a zip line, rope courses and swim. It also gives parents a break."

The muscular dystrophies are a group of diseases that cause weakness and degeneration of the skeletal muscles.

The Fill the Boot campaign began in 1954 by the International Association of Fire Fighters after they decided to partner with the Muscular Dystrophy Association to raise money until a cure was found.

Since 1954 the funds raised by IAFF boot drives has resulted in several new drugs for neuromuscular diseases that have been recently approved, and more are expected in the next five years than in the past five decades.

"Last year more than 100,000 firefighters in more than 1,500 IAFF Unions raised over $24 million for MDA," Mickuleit said. "We're proud to be a part of this great tradition and I hope Pine Islanders will support this wonderful effort. Until a cure is found we will be filling those boots together."



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