As Columbia County residents shop for supplies for Labor Day barbecues, pool parties and lake trips, they'll be greeted by firefighters hoping to fill their boots with donations.
Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue started its annual Fill-the-Boot campaign for the Muscular Dystrophy Association the weekend of Aug. 17 and will be stationed outside Kroger, Wal-Mart and other Columbia County retailers again this holiday weekend.
Last year, the department raised $52,165, placing the department as the second-largest fundraiser statewide, said Honey Shore, a department spokeswoman.
"We'd really like to beat last year's total," Shore said. "We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the community and their support of this important cause."
In 2006, firefighters nationwide collected and donated $23.5 million through the International Association of Firefighters, making the association the Muscular Dystrophy Association's largest national sponsor.
All the funds raised during the campaign stay in the area for local children and adults served by MDA's comprehensive services program. The program provides assistance in the purchase and repair of wheelchairs, leg braces and communication devices in addition to providing support groups, summer camp for children and clinic visits to the free MDA clinics.
Donations also will be accepted at the department's headquarters at 3910 Desoto Drive in Martinez.
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