When you go shopping on Saturday, you might want a bring a few extra bucks for the firefighters’ boot.
Rock Hill firefighters will be holding out their footwear at two area shopping centers this weekend, the first of three consecutive Saturdays passers-by will be asked to Fill the Boot to fight muscular dystrophy.
This is the 60th year firehouses nationwide have joined forces with the Muscular Dystrophy Association to raise money to combat the neuromuscular disease. Money raised from filling the boots will be spent on everything from basic medical care for MD sufferers to the cost of sending a child to a week at the MDA’s Camp Bethelwoods near York.
“Seventy-seven cents of every dollar raised is spent locally,” helping the 70 families in the Rock Hill area served by MDA, said fundraising coordinator Lanie Kirouac.
Last year, 100,000 firefighters nationwide participated in the Fill the Boot drive, raising a total of $26.2 million. Locally, Kirouac said she expects Rock Hill firefighters to raise at least $2,000.
“That’s a conservative estimate,” she said. “The citizens of all the towns and cities (where Fill the Boot is held) have always been great in the support they give.”
Firefighters will be stationed outside the Wal-Mart at 2377 Dave Lyle Blvd. and the Wal-Mart at 4875 Old York Road from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday and the next two Saturdays, Sept. 20 and 27.
“The chief has allowed six companies to rotate being out there, so all the guys will get their hands on it,” said Adam Aguirre, the firefighter coordinating the campaign inside the Rock Hill Fire Department.
Chanry So is one beneficiary of the fundraiser. The Rock Hill woman has received help from the MDA since she was diagnosed with Miyoshi myopathy, a progressive muscular disease, more than 20 years ago.
“It’s helped me purchase my wheelchair when I first needed it about five years ago, and they provide their clinic (the Carolinas Neuromuscular Center in Charlotte) whenever my insurance hasn’t covered it,” So said. “I never got to go to the camp (Bethelwoods) unfortunately, because I was already an adult when I got diagnosed.”
So and others with her condition will be counting on those who encounter boot-wielding firefighters this weekend to help fight the effects of their disease.
“The funds generated by Fill the Boot will help MDA continue to make extraordinary progress in the search for effective treatments, while providing essential services to families here in Rock Hill,” Kirouac said.