Firefighters raise money for muscle disease
Firefighters boot up a campaign today to raise money for children and adults with muscle diseases throughout the Durham area.
The fundraiser marks a 60-year partnership between the Durham Fire Department and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Nearly every firefighter in the department will participate in Fill the Boot, to be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, Saturday and Sunday. They’ll be standing outside six Durham businesses holding a big boot for people to drop cash or a check into.
This year’s goal is $10,000 -- up from $8,500 raised in Durham last year. The money will stay in the Durham area and be used for research and to treat patients at muscular dystrophy clinics at Duke Medical Center and UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.
“We’re helping people right here in our back yard,” Valerie Smith, executive director of the Raleigh-area chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, said Thursday at the Durham Fire Department’s downtown station on Morgan Street. “Any money raised in Durham stays here in our local counties.”
The money also pays for children affected by a muscle disease to attend a weeklong summer camp in Stokes County, northwest of Winston-Salem.
Smith said money raised in the last 60 years has helped advance research.
“We’ve made great strides in the last decade,” she said. “We’re getting really close to some great treatments and cures.”
Durham firefighters will be at the following locations through Sunday:
- Wal-Mart at New Hope Commons.
- Wal-Mart on Glenn School Road.
- Kroger on North Roxboro Road.
- Kroger on South Roxboro Street.
- Lowe’s at William Penn Plaza.
- Lowe’s on Fayetteville Road.
Durham Fire Chief Dan Curia said the fundraiser is “something that everybody in the department can get behind.”
“The fire service is built on helping people, and in that context, we love to help kids,” he said. “When you watch the MDA telethon, you see the kids who are affected by the disease, and it’s easy to emotionally attach to them. We’re just driven to help.”