MCFRS News Release


Fired Up to “Fill-the-Boot” for MDA

As the Labor Day holiday weekend approaches firefighters across the United States, in conjunction with the International Association of Fire Fighters, will be raising funds to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  On Wednesday, August 27, 2008, Thursday, August 28, 2008 and Friday, August 29, 2008, Montgomery County fire fighters and friends will be “filling their boots” to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and “Jerry’s Kids”.  The firefighters will be at major intersections in Montgomery County sometime between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. asking motorists to give spare dollars and change to help the MDA in their efforts.

The International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) is the single largest sponsor of MDA.  Since the beginning of this special partnership 24 years ago, the Montgomery County Firefighters have raised nearly $1 million dollars through this effort which supports many local families that are living with a neuromuscular disease in Montgomery County.  County Fire Chief Tom Carr says “We fully support this effort and ask everyone to reach into their pockets for some spare change. Every penny collected helps local children and adults who are affected by neuromuscular diseases.”

MDA Chairman of IAFF Local 1664, Master Firefighter Donnie Simmons, remarks “We take to heart that Montgomery County is the home of Jeni Stepanek and her (late) son Mattie (former MDA National Goodwill Ambassador).  Fill-the-Boot allows us to help continue Mattie’s legacy of hope for a cure and to help our many local families that are affected by these crippling diseases.”

MDA helps children and adults who are affected by any of the 43 neuromuscular diseases covered by MDA’s comprehensive medical services and research programs.  MDA receives no government funding and charges no fees to those served by the Association.  IAFF Local 1664 President John Sparks notes, “Last years campaign was an incredible success, collecting over $235,000, propelling Montgomery County to the 5th highest fire department total in the Country for money raised for the MDA.

2008 “Fill-the-Boot” Intersections

County Executive Isiah Leggett offered a proclamation on Thursday, August 21, 2008 at Mattie Stepanek’s Park in King Farm.  Mattie Stepanek, a Montgomery County resident and International renowned poet, lost his battle with muscular dystrophy in 2004 at the age of 13.  He was an honorary fire fighter and the Montgomery County ‘Fill the Boot’ Campaign continues in his memory every year.

Proceeds help MDA provide wheelchairs, leg braces and communication devices for client families served in the Greater Washington Area. The donations also help fund research, local clinics at Children’s National Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital, support groups and a weeklong summer camp for children.

MDA is a volunteer health agency working to defeat muscle diseases through programs of worldwide research, comprehensive services and far reaching professional and public health education.

Every year fire fighters present their checks on the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon Labor Day Weekend. The Telethon can be viewed August 31 – September 1 on WDCW, Washington’s CW.  The first hour of the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon on Sunday night, August 31, 2008 starting at 9:00 PM EST, Montgomery County’s total will be announced during the national portion of the telethon.  Montgomery County IAFF Local 1664 will be presenting a check during the local portion of the telethon on Monday, September 1, 2008 during the 10:00 AM hour.  Last year the IAFF presented over $25 million.