Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue is gearing up early this year for its annual Fill-the-Boot campaign to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Firefighters normally collect donations for the association during two weekends around Labor Day, when Jerry Lewis holds the annual MDA telethon.
But to get a head start on this year's fundraising, they will gather outside Columbia County retail locations Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Assistant Chief James Champion said.
"A lot of departments do it several times a year," Champion said, adding that he hopes the extra weekend will help boost donations for the charity that the department has supported for many years.
Last year, the firefighters raised more than $40,000 for the MDA and have high hopes for this year.
"The goal is simply to beat last year," Champion said.
Firefighters nationwide raised more than $21 million for the MDA last year. All funds raised during the campaign stay in the area and are used to provide medical services to the Medical College of Georgia's MDA Clinic to assist families in purchasing wheelchairs and leg braces and to help fund a monthly support group at Walton Rehabilitation Hospital. A weeklong summer camp for children also is funded.
Firefighters will be collecting donations from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday in front of the following retail locations:
- Bi-Lo, 4480 Columbia Road, Martinez
- Food Lion, 365 S. Belair Road, Martinez
- Kmart, 3830 Washington Road, Martinez
- Kroger, 4115 Columbia Road, Martinez
- Kroger, 4355 Washington Road, Evans
- Lowe's, 224 Bobby Jones Expressway, Martinez
- Pump 'N Shop, 3333 Washington Road, Martinez
- Wal-Mart SuperCenter, 4471 Washington Road, Evans
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.