Firefighters filling the boots for muscular dystrophy

Jodi Schellenberg
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If you have some extra change, save it for the weekend and visit the firefighters.

The Prince Albert Fire Department is holding their annual Fill the Boots campaign this Saturday at Canadian Tire. Last year they raised close to $5,000 for muscular dystrophy.

The Prince Albert Fire Department (PAFD) is holding their annual Fill the Boots campaign on Saturday at Canadian Tire from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“We stand outside with our firefighting boots and ask for any change the citizens of Prince Albert and area have and we make the full donation to Muscular Dystrophy Canada,” said Adam Dziadyk, one of the members of PAFD’s charity committee. “We have chosen Canadian Tire because they were a big supporter of this as well last year and it was a huge success so we asked if we could do that again … Thank you to Canadian Tire for helping out because we do appreciate it.”

Firefighters across Canada have been supporters of Muscular Dystrophy Canada since 1954 and Fill the Boots was introduced as another way to help raise funds and challenge communities to learn more about the disorder.

The campaign is not just held in Prince Albert -- cities and towns across Canada host Fill the Boots events throughout the year.

“Most departments in Canada do a muscular dystrophy fundraiser during the year and this is one of the popular ones,” Dziadyk said. “Fire departments and associations across Canada currently raise over $3 million annually. It is our national charity and is really important to firefighters.”

Muscular dystrophy includes a group of more than 150 types of neuromuscular disorders characterized by progressive weakness of muscles that control voluntary movement.

People with muscular dystrophy may lose the ability to walk, speak and breathe and it can be fatal. There is currently no cure.

“Firefighters are muscular dystrophy’s biggest network of supporters,” Dziadyk said. “There is no other group that raises as much money for them as firefighters across Canada.”

Last year, PAFD raised almost $5,000 for Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

“Malcolm Jenkins matched it and he is doing it again up to $10,000 this year,” Dziadyk said. “He is a big supporter of the fire department so we asked him again this year and he was more than happy to. We didn’t ask for him to match it but he just went ahead and told us that he is going to do it again.”

In addition to asking for spare change, the firefighters will also have a fire truck on site.

“We are more than happy to give tours,” he said. “We’ll have posters and information about muscular dystrophy.”

In addition to the Fill the Boots campaign, the firefighters did some additional fundraising earlier in the year.

“We also had canisters in the liquor stores in July,” Dziadyk said. “We picked them up at the end of July … Everything that we made from that collection is also going towards our year-end tally to our donation to muscular dystrophy.”

Organizations: Prince Albert Fire Department, Canadian Tire

Geographic location: Canada, Prince Albert

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