Fill the Boot

There are two families with young sons right in the Grand Rapids area that are impacted by Duchenne. To see the support that came out of this community to lift these families up was truly remarkable.

The Grand Rapids Fire Department and surrounding volunteer departments exceeded expectations for their 2019 fundraising drive to raise critical funds for the Minnesota Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). All of the donations collected over three days during the first week in August are truly helping to transform the lives of kids and adults with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related muscle-debilitating diseases.

Grand Rapids volunteer firefighters were joined by Trout Lake firefighters to take donations in boots for over nine hours spanning three consecutive days. Together they raised $30,490 coming in #1 in the state. According to Anya Moran—development specialist for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in Minnesota, the Dakotas and Western Wisconsin—a total of $469,338 was raised across the state of Minn.

“The firefighters have once again gone above and beyond for MDA’s families during this year’s Fill the Boot campaign,” said MDA Regional Manager of Firefighter partnerships, Elizabeth Nelson. “We are so grateful for their dedication and for the generosity of those in the Grand Rapids community who have helped to raise critical funds to help support 15 kiddo’s camp attendance in Maple Lake next summer!”

The impact of the firefighters work is felt long after the three days of their boot drive, in fact their efforts help the Muscular Dystrophy Association carry out its commit to improve lives all year long.

The $30 thousand plus raised through Grand Rapids Fire Department’s event will help the MDA save lives and lift those up in need, by providing the MDA with vital resources to advance their mission of driving innovations in science and care for the neuromuscular community. Contributions have helped fund groundbreaking research and life-enhancing programs such as state-of-the-art support groups and multidisciplinary Care Centers, including Essentia in Duluth, the University of Minnesota hospital and Gillette Children’s Specialty in St Paul. Additionally, dollars go toward funding an adaptive summer camp for children ages eight to 17 to attend an accessible camp for no cost.

“Historically the firefighters in Grand Rapids have really worked hard to spread awareness for the MDA,” Moran said. “The community has also been extremely generous in the past. With that said we were still incredibly surprised by the results of the combined efforts of Grand Rapids Fire, Trout Lake and Cohasset Fire – they have managed to raise more funds than cities four times their size!”

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