Firemen from the Ramona Fire Department will take to the streets on Friday, Aug. 28, with their boots in hand, to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).
Last year Ramona firefighters raised almost $5,000 in their first effort with the “Fill the Boot for Jerry’s Kids” campaign. All funds raised stay in the area to benefit local families served by the MDA, said association spokesman Angel Chanchea.
Firefighters will be accepting donations from passing motorists at three intersections: San Vicente Road and Gunn Stage Road, 10th Street and Main Street, and Highway 67 and Dye Road. They will be there from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and again from noon to 3 p.m.
“They will be impossible to miss as there will be at least 10 firefighters dressed in uniform blues at each location,” said Chanchea. “And they will be joined by many MDA families who will be coming out to show their support and to thank firefighters for their incredible efforts.”
Last year firefighters with CalFire raised $25,000 as part of a total of $104,000 for San Diego and Imperial counties. The donations allowed MDA to provide free patient services to 1,050 families in the area, Chanchea said. Items covered included a clinic at Children’s Hospital, a weeklong summer camp for kids at Camp Cuyamaca, support groups and assistance in purchasing wheelchairs and leg braces.
The campaign has been sponsored nationally for 55 years by the International Association of Fire Fighters. It was started in 1954 by two firemen, one of whom had a daughter with muscular dystrophy. The union’s leaders always appear on the annual Jerry Lewis MDA telethon to announce the total amount raised nationally. Last year it was $27,530,000.
This year’s Labor Day telethon, on Sept. 7, will have “a local firefighter’s hour” where area fire chiefs will present the money raised in this year’s boot drive, Chanchea said.