Firefighters collecting to give muscular dystrophy the boot

Gloucester’s firefighters are hitting the streets, not with boots on the ground, but with boots in their hands for a good cause.

The city’s firefighters will be stationed along Western Avenue at Stacy Boulevard from 9:30 a.m. to around 2 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Aug. 4 through 6, using their boots to collect donations for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Firefighter Jim Hannon, who is once again heading up the drive, said the crews hope to top the  $12,000 mark this year after collecting $11,020.46 a year ago. The drive will continue next week, on Thursday, Aug. 11, and Friday, Aug 12. Hannon said the firefighters are prepared and permitted by the city to collect over Labor Day weekend during the Gloucester Schooner Festival as well if they run into bad weather during collection times over the next two weeks.

Hannon said the money dropped into the rubber boots over the coming days will primarily fund trips to a Muscular Dystrophy Association summer camp for local children, health clinic visits for people living with neuromuscular illnesses, and medical research on the illness. About 77 cents of every dollar dropped into a boot directly funds research, services and education to benefit children and adults.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association assists not only people who suffer from muscular dystrophy, but also supports people with other neuromuscular conditions, including ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. And ongoing fund-raising efforts, from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to MDA drives such as this, have led to hope for potential cures, Hannon noted.

Hannon said the project also helps boost relations between the Gloucester firefighters and the community.

“It gives a lot of the guys a chance to get out and say hello to people, and the chance for people to get to know some of us, too,” he said, noting that the Gloucester drive dates back more than 25 years. “It’s really become a Gloucester tradition.”

Source:Gloucester Daily Times

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