Give for the Kids

St. Clair Fire Protection District firefighter John Yerkey gets a donation from a passing motorist during the annual Muscular Dystrophy Association Fill the Boot Campaign.

For the 60th time this year, firefighters are filling boots with money to assist the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

And, St. Clair Fire Protection District firefighter Dan Cooley said that amount of time marks a milestone.

“Sixty years is a long time for one organization to help another,” Cooley told The Missourian. “Again this year, we encourage all of our patrons to come out and support us.”

And, helping is easy, he said.

During two weekends in August, local firefighters will be stationed at various locations in and around St. Clair armed with special boots. The idea is for passersby to fill those boots with loose change or dollar bills to help the cause.

The local portion of the fundraiser actually started a couple of weeks ago as firefighters set up shop at the corner of South Main Street and East Springfield Road in St Clair.

That intersection again will be targeted as will other locations.

The money collected will be donated to the MDA to raise funds for children and adults stricken with a form of the disease.

Muscular dystrophy is a group of muscle diseases that weaken the musculoskeletal system and hamper locomotion.

Muscular dystrophies are characterized by progressive skeletal muscle weakness, defects in muscle proteins, and the death of muscle cells and tissue.

The conditions generally are inherited, and there is no known cure.

Monies raised through the Fill the Boot campaign will assist research efforts.

“Sixty years ago, the International Association of Fire Fighters approached the Muscular Dystrophy Association and made it a promise that firefighters would collect money for MDA until there is a cure,” Cooley said. “This year is no different.

Cooley said firefighters remain the largest contributors to the MDA.

The money raised in the St. Louis area stays in the area, Cooley said, and is used to fund research and provide medical equipment for patients.

Funds also help send children with the disease to MDA camp every year.

Cooley said the local goal is to collect $3,300.

Additional collections times and days are:

•3 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 8.

•9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 9.

•3 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 22.

•9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 23.