Mt. Vernon firefighters make historic haul Local department ranks third in fundraising in area of 60 departments

Posing with a $10,000 check from the Mt. Vernon fire fighters to MDA are Donnie Wright, Rick Richardson, Jerry Bear, with MDA, Fire Chief Brad DeLay and Ronnie Wright. (Photo submitted)

Mt. Vernon firefighters were determined to make the 65th anniversary of Fill the Boot a special one for the Greater Ozarks Chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
“It was wet and hot, but despite the weather Mt. Vernon hit a major milestone by collecting $10,000,” announced Jerry Bear, Executive Director of Muscular Dystrophy Association. “The community and the firefighters have made an incredible team through the years!” The accomplishment was enhanced when Mt. Vernon was recognized as the No. 3 department in the Ozarks of nearly 60 participating. Only Springfield and Branson had higher totals in 2019. Firefighters collected more than $214,000 in the Ozarks.
“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. MDA plans to release 45 more new drugs and treatments in the next three years. “Without the firefighters this would not have happened. What started with one firefighter in Boston in 1954 has turned into an epic lifesaving mission,” said Bear.
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 diseases covered by MDA. That includes ALS. MDA has invested $325 million dollars in research and services since 1954.
Mt. Vernon firefighters will be receiving a special award later in October that will go on the department’s training room wall. “The wall is getting full. And we are so thankful for that,” Bear said.


Lawrence County Record

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


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