Fairfax County Fire and Rescue’s 2017 “Fill the Boot” campaign, its annual fundraiser for the Greater Washington Muscular Dystrophy Association, is this weekend.
The Labor Day tradition, which has been going on for more than 35 years, raises hundreds of thousands each year for MDA. This year, some of that money will go to another very important cause.
“This week members of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, along with the rest of the world, watched devastation unfold in Texas,” reads a press release issued Thursday morning. “We knew that we wanted to do something to help. The staff at the Greater Washington Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and National MDA also felt that need. With that in mind a recommendation was made that, for municipalities interested, a portion of ‘Fill the Boot’ money should go to a disaster relief fund.”
Fairfax County has decided that $50,000 of the money it raises in this year’s effort will go toward the Hurricane Harvey relief effort.
The campaign will take place Friday through Monday, and drivers are asked to watch for uniformed firefighters with apparatus on display at controlled intersections all over the county.
Last year, Fire and Rescue reports that the $521,509 it raised through the campaign was the most among any department in the United States and Canada — an accomplishment it says it has achieved in eight of the past 10 years.
According to the Greater Washington Muscular Dystrophy Association, funding it receives goes toward:
- The annual weeklong MDA Children’s Summer Camp, where kids from 6 to 17 years old can have a “typical” camp experience with their peers. They enjoy swimming, boating, zip line, crafts, a talent show and many other activities all tailored to their specific disability. This week also provides a respite for the families from the sometimes 24-hour-a-day job of caring for a special needs child. This camp is provided free of charge for the families.
- The MDA clinic at Georgetown University Hospital and Children’s National Medical Center. This “one-stop shop” allows those with neuromuscular disease to see all of their specialists, such as their cardiologist, neurologist, pulmonologist, occupational therapist and many others in one location. This alleviates the need to make appointments and travel throughout the D.C. area to the many medical professionals that they see on a regular basis.
- Research at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University.
- Programs designed to help people with neuromuscular disease live, go to school and work independently.
For more information about the work of the MDA, visit its website.
Image courtesy Fairfax County Fire and Rescue