The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) in partnership with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) kick off more than 250 Fill the Boot events to raise lifesaving funds throughout Labor Day weekend in over 25 states. The funds raised by more than 330,000 IAFF members and their affiliates across the country go towards MDA’s mission for scientific and clinical research and care for families living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases.

Online donations will continue as fire fighters take to the streets in communities across the country with boots in hand asking pedestrians, motorists, customers, and other passersby to support the mission.

These events coincide with the MDA Tribute Tour – St. Louis over Labor Day weekend. The longstanding ‘Show of Strength’ airing in primetime on NBC affiliate KSDK-TV from 8-10pm CT will also feature check presentations from IAFF Fill the Boot events in St. Louis. IAFF Fire and EMS professionals of St. Louis Local 73 and Professional Fire Fighters of Eastern Missouri Local 2665 will Fill the Boot in and around the St. Louis metro area throughout Labor Day weekend. St. Louis Fire Fighters Local 73 will also Fill the Boot ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals games September 2 through 5, 90-minutes prior to game time in Ballpark Village. 

The partnership between MDA and IAFF spans 68 years, beginning in 1954 when the IAFF signed a proclamation designating MDA as its charity of choice and vowing to continue raising awareness and funds until cures are found. To date, fire fighters nationwide have raised $679 million over nearly seven decades. The funds raised by IAFF have led to breakthroughs in research and many FDA-approved treatments for neuromuscular diseases, in addition to access to treatments and care from day one, and through newborn screening and other advocacy efforts. 

“Labor Day weekend is the kick-off to Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Month and is an important time of year for this longstanding tradition with our valued partners at the IAFF. Every time someone in the community sees a local fire fighter and donates whatever amount they can to Fill the Boot, they provide hope for families diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease at any age,” says Donald S. Wood, PhD, President and CEO of MDA.

“Today, people are living longer more independent lives because of this fundraising effort, and the pipeline of promise – more life empowering treatments and cures – is growing and creating ever more hope for the millions of patients and their families who are at the heart of MDA’s mission and vision. We are forever grateful to IAFF for maintaining their strong commitment to the Fill the Boot program.” 

[Source(s): Muscular Dystrophy Association, PR Newswire]