Local firefighters get ‘fired up’ to help MDA

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AUBURN – Members of the Auburn Professional Firefighters Local 797 are preparing to participate in the annual “Fill the Boot” fundraiser to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. On Saturdays, July 14 and Aug. 25, firefighters will be at the Auburn Wal-Mart with their boots so that local citizens may give their dollars and change to help firefighters in their support of MDA.

Last year, local firefighters collected more than $3,000 for MDA of Maine and hope to surpass that amount this year.

This year marks 53 years of partnership between the International Association of Fire Fighters and the Muscular Dystrophy Association in the fight against neuromuscular diseases.

Since 1954, the IAFF has raised nearly $275 million for MDA, with $23.6 million raised in 2006 alone, primarily through the “Fill the Boot” program. Funds raised by fire fighters help fund a worldwide research program, a network of some 225 clinics and 37 MDA/ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) centers, assistance in obtaining wheelchairs and other durable medical equipment, public health education and summer camps for more than 4,000 youngsters with muscular dystrophy and related diseases.

MDA is a national voluntary health agency fighting 43 neuromuscular diseases through a worldwide research effort, a nationwide program of medical services and professional and public health education.

MDA’s programs are funded by individual private contributors and businesses. The association seeks no government grants, United Way funds or fees from patients or their families. The annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon energizes a year-round local and national effort that provides the resources for the services and programs.

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