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SBFD hosts annual "Fill-the-Boot" campaign this weekend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The South Bend Fire Department is raising awareness and money for muscular dystrophy diseases.

This weekend, SBFD’s annual “Fill the Boot” campaign kicks off.

Firefighters hope to raise more than $4,000 so they can help children and adults with the condition and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

September 1-3, SBFD and Firefighters Local 362 will hit the storefronts, trying to fill boots with donations. More than 250 firefighters will be at the Wal-Marts on Portage Rd. And W. Ireland Rd. from noon until 5 p.m. each day.

“Fill the Boot” is a 60-year-old tradition for SBFD and one close to many firefighter’s hearts after losing one of their own.

“Back in the 90s we actually lost a firefighter to Lou Gehrig’s Disease that was a captain on the job,” said Gerard Ellis. “So, that has a lot of meaning to a lot of the older firefighters that have been on the job cause that disease took him down.”

Muscular Dystrophy Association is an organization dedicated to finding treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy diseases, which is a group of diseases, that over time, breakdown a person’s muscles, taking away their physical strength and mobility.

Each year MDA helps 35,000 kids and adults in the U.S., providing people with therapy, medical treatment, and more.

MDA has a care center in Elkhart, meaning money raised during “Fill the Boot”, will help people in Michiana.

“Some of the treatments they’ve developed have helped in prolonging either a child or adult to live longer,” said Ellis. “I think that helps raise awareness for everyone else.”

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