Manlius firefighters and MDA team up for annual fundraiser

Can you fill the boots of a firefighter? On Friday Sept. 21 you'll get the chance to try. Manlius Professional Firefighters (Local 3316) will be on the streets with boots in hand to help raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Funds raised will go directly towards helping local families afflicted with muscular dystrophy.

Manlius is one of 12 departments in Central and Northern New York to volunteer in the annual Fill the Boot drives -- this will be its third year participating.

"Their first year raised just over $10,000, second year [they] raised just over $16,000 and this year they have a goal to raise $20,000," said Kate Houck of MDA.

The International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) is the main national sponsor of MDA. For more than 50 years, the group has raised millions to help local communities.

"All of the services listed on our site apply to the local area," Houck said. "MDA is not government funded, so the only money that we have to support local families comes directly from major sponsors like the IAFF."

Clinic, summer camp, support groups and assistance with the purchase of leg braces, communication devices and wheelchairs are all among the local health care services that this event supports.

Firefighters will be out in full force from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the intersection of Burdick Street and Route 5 by Fayetteville's Town Centre.

"If someone wants to donate, they can have their money ready when they see the firefighters," Houck said. "They will be wearing bright orange T-shirts so you can't miss them. Most people empty out their ashtray in their car."

For more information, visit mda.org.

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