Milestone year for Firefighters Fill the Boot for MDA

It was announced on Aug. 25, that Missouri Governor Mike Parson officially proclaimed August as Fill the Boot Month to mark the 65th anniversary of the firefighters extraordinary efforts on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Nearly $600 million has been collected since 1954 when the program began with one Boston firefighter.
Mt. Vernon will be participating in the 65th annual Fill the Boot benefitting the Greater Ozarks Chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. They are one of 63 departments in the Ozarks that is collecting. “Fill the Boot is off to great start. Several departments don’t wait until Labor Day weekend to collect and the response so far has been encouraging,” stated Jerry Bear, Executive Director of MDA. “Mt. Vernon collected $6,201 in 2018 and just barely missed the top 10 in the Ozarks. That is an outstanding total regardless of where they finished.”
Firefighters are watching their extraordinary determination and hard work usher in a new era of progress in research and treatments. Seven new drugs have been approved since 2015. The treatment Spinraza has been used in Spinal Muscular Atrophy to allow a new born baby with a life expectancy of one year to “dance with the doctor” at age three and her parents saving for college. There are many other stories to be written about gene therapy in the future. MDA plans to release 45 more new drugs and treatments in the next three years.
Each Fill the Boot is unique to the community. They will be held at Battlefield Mall, Bass Pro, Tanger Outlet Mall in Branson, Wal-Marts, four-way stops and intersections. Silver Dollar City invites Southern Stone County to collect at Echo Hollow Labor Day weekend in conjunction with the Southern Gospel Festival Labor Day weekend. Other locations include football games, county fairs, and major events in their community.
“The firefighters have a special dedication to MDA. They work so hard. The departments vary from all-volunteer to all-professional and a mix of both. The smaller departments also have great success, thanks to a generous public.”
Funds raised through the Fill the Boot will also support MDA Care Centers located at Mercy Hospital in Springfield. Kids between 6-17 years old with muscular dystrophy attend a weeklong, barrier-free MDA Summer Camp at Camp Wonderland. More than one million people in the United States are affected by the 43-neuromuscular disease covered by MDA. That includes ALS. MDA has invested $325 million dollars in research and services since 1954.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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