Austin firefighters to fill boots for muscular dystrophy

Published 9:50 am Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Starting Wednesday, Austin firefighters will be using their boots for good — but it won’t involve running through burning buildings.

Instead, local firefighters, in conjunction with the International Association of Firefighters and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, will be holding a “Fill the Boot” campaign to raise money for MDA’s services and research programs.

The event will kick off at 2:45 p.m. and run until 7 p.m. It will continue on Thursday and Friday from 3 to 7 p.m.

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Firefighters will occupy two intersections in town — Fourth Street and First Drive northwest, as well as Oakland Avenue West and 12th Street Southwest — and look to fill their boots with donations from people driving or walking by.

Austin firefighter Timothy Olson said at a July 20 city council meeting that the station hasn’t held a Fill the Boot event in about 18 years.

“It’s a good time for the (department) to step up and raise some money for the community,” he said. “(And) it’s a real great charity.”

The MDA, formed in 1950, is a national nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. It’s also well known for its national chairman, entertainer Jerry Lewis, and the “Helping Jerry’s Kids” slogan.