Colorado Springs firefighters kicks off 63rd annual Fill the Boot Drive

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Local firefighters are showing their support for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) as they kick off the annual Fill the Boot fundraising campaign to help kids and adults with muscular dystrophy, ALS and  related muscle-debilitating diseases live longer and grow stronger.

From August 24 to September 4, firefighters from Colorado Springs Fire Department and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local #5 as well as several other fire departments in southern Colorado will hit storefronts with boots in hand asking pedestrians, drivers, customers and other passersby at various locations in Colorado Springs, Pueblo and more southern Colorado towns to make a donation to MDA.

This year, Local #5, in collaboration with MDA and Papa John's, will host a pizza party for CSFD Fire Chief Ted Collas, members of Colorado Springs City Council, local families served by MDA and southern Colorado firefighters. The pizza party will celebrate the breakthrough of four new drug treatments for muscle disease in the past 11 months and will take place at Colorado Springs Station 19 on August 22 at 11:30 a.m.

Funds raised through Fill the Boot also help finance research and life-enhancing programs such as state-of-the-art support groups and Care Centers, including the MDA Care Center at Children's Hospital in Colorado Springs. They also help send more than 80 local kids to "the best week of the year" at MDA summer camp in Empire, Colorado -- all at no cost.

"We are thrilled to be working with Local #5 and the Colorado Springs Fire Department for another year of Fill the Boot to help provide the funds needed to find treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases that severely limit strength and mobility," said Director of Business Development, Nathan Ressler-Aragon. "The dedication of southern Colorado fire ighters to MDA's mission is unwavering, spending countless hours both with Fill the Boot and MDA Summer Camp to care for the kids and adults in southern Colorado. We know that their devotion to our families will make this year's drive a success."

You can also help raise money for MDA through September 4 by ordering Papa John's Pizza online. Just use the discount code "DENMDA40" to receive 40 percent off your order with 10 percent going back to MDA.

In 2016, more than 100,000 firefighters participated in Fill the Boot events across the country and raised more than $24 million. To date the IAFF has raised $607 million for MDA.

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