“Fill the Boot” is an annual fundraiser conducted by firefighters around the U.S. to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).
The first ever Fill the Boot took place in Boston in 1954 and raised $5,000. More than 100,000 firefighters participated in 2019 by collecting donations for MDA on the streets, at businesses and in neighborhoods. As a result, over $20 million was raised at more than 1,900 locations.
Around the Ozarks, 56 departments participated and a total of $225,000 was raised – a record for the region. Amounts collected in the Ozarks included Springfield Local 152 – $29,353 (record total); Branson Local 152 – $13,500; Waynesville – $8,621; West Plains – $7,275; Lebanon Local 2921 – $6,035; Houston/Raymondville – $5,026; Licking – $1,617; and Roby – $1,000.
Houston/Raymondville combined to finish 13th in money raised out of 56 participating departments in the Ozarks.
“This shows that our communities care and are willing to support such a great cause,” said Houston Fire Department Chief Robbie Smith. “We want to say thank you to our communities for your continued support. This is only possible because of each one of you graciously donating.”
Local firefighters will be on the streets raising money for MDA this year on Friday, Sept. 4.