Fill The Boot

Firefighters collect donations outside Fry's in Sun City for their annual "Fill the Boot" fundraiser.

Members of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local No. 493, along with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, will host a special press conference to kick off the firefighters' annual Fill the Boot fundraising campaign and continue a 60-year tradition of helping save and improve the lives of people fighting muscle disease in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

The event, scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, will take place at the Phoenix Fire Training Academy, 2425 W. Lower Buckeye Road, Phoenix.     

Notable attendees include, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, International Association of Fire Fighters Local No. 493 President Steve Beuerlein, Phoenix Firefighter Ben Lindquist, and MDA 2015 Arizona Goodwill Ambassador Alexis Noland.

International Association of Fire Fighters Local No. 493 includes members of fire departments from Chandler, Glendale, Peoria, Phoenix and Tempe.

“For more than six decades firefighters have stood on the front lines for MDA, striving to make a difference in the lives of those affected by muscle disease,” said MDA Fundraising Coordinator Ashton Hobbs. “Firefighters do more for MDA and the families we serve than any other group. In the Phoenix area, they spend countless hours every year participating in Fill the Boot drives and at MDA Summer Camp. We're grateful for the support of these inspiring, selfless individuals who have made a profound impact on our families’ health, wellbeing and quality of life.”

More than 2,200 members of IAFF Local No. 493 will fan out across Chandler, Glendale, Peoria, Phoenix and Tempe, with boots in hand for this year’s drive beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 21 at Fry’s stores across the Valley.

Funds raised through 2015 Fill the Boot events build on decades of research progress, helping push science to its limits in the search for treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other related life-threatening diseases that take away people’s ability to walk, move, smile, talk and breathe.

Dollars raised also help support MDA’s life-enhancing programs such as state-of-the-art support groups and clinics, including the MDA Clinic at both St. Joseph’s Hospital and Phoenix Children’s Hospital. They also make MDA summer camp possible so kids with muscle disease can enjoy “the best week of the year” at Whispering Hope Ranch in Payson and nearly 80 other locations nationwide.

As the Muscular Dystrophy Association's largest national sponsor, the IAFF fuels MDA's mission to find treatments and cures for life-threatening muscle diseases. IAFF support for MDA began in 1954 when the organization committed by proclamation to support MDA until a cure is found, and the organization's unwavering commitment to MDA has remained strong to this day. The IAFF raised $100,000 for MDA in 1955, and $1 million in 1970, and firefighters continue to raise the bar in their fundraising efforts. In 2013, more than 100,000 firefighters participated in Fill the Boot events across the country and raised $26.2 million. To date the IAFF has raised $558 million for MDA.

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