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Firefighters collect funds for MDA

Published: Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 11:17 p.m. CST • Updated: Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 11:19 p.m. CST
Danielle Guerra - dguerra@shawmedia.com Sycamore firefighter Brian Thompson, of International Association of Fire Fighters local #3046, collects donations at the corner of Somonauk and Elm streets Friday in downtown Sycamore during the "Fill the Boot" campaign for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The firefighters will return Saturday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. The local will also have a fundraising day at Culver's in Sycamore on Tuesday for lunch from 11-2 p.m. and dinner from 5-8 p.m.

SYCAMORE – Few people stopped at the intersection of Somonauk and Elm streets in Sycamore on Friday without donating at least some spare change to Sycamore firefighters.

The money is benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association through the annual Fill the Boot fundraiser. The Sycamore Fire Department has a partnership with the association because they are members of the International Association of Fire Fighters, which represents more than 300,000 firefighters who protect 85 percent of the nation’s people, according to a news release.

Firefighters raised $1,285 Friday, to add to another $1,000 collected through fundraisers held earlier this month at Hy-Vee and Jewel, said Sycamore firefighter/paramedic Brian Thompson.

Locals still have time to donate: Firefighters will collect donations from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at Somonauk and Elm streets, and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Culver’s in Sycamore.

“Unlike other charities, all the money we contribute goes towards research and helping kids. It stays in our area,” Thompson said. “It stays in DeKalb County. If a child is affected by [muscular dystrophy], it helps the child with research and transportation costs.”

The reception firefighters receive from the general public is the same every year, said firefighter/paramedic Andy Powers, who has volunteered to tote a boot for the fundraiser for the last five years.

“A lot of times, people don’t even know what they’re donating for,” Powers said. “They just see firemen. Most people empty their change or give a dollar.”

Thompson estimated the firefighters were on track to raise their goal of between $3,000 to $3,700.

This year is the first time Culver’s will chip in. In addition to donations, the restaurant known for its “ButterBurgers” will contribute 10 percent of all sales made during lunch and dinner hours Tuesday to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

About 15 of the 26 full-time firefighters at Sycamore Fire Department have volunteered their time to collect donations, Thompson said.

Those who donated Friday received a sticker from firefighters.

“Drop a dollar, grab your sticker and go on your way,” Powers said.

How to donate

• What: Fill the Boot fundraiser

• When: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today

• Where: Somonauk and Elm streets, Sycamore

• Why: Proceeds benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association

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