Firefighters in the Ozarks will take their boots to the streets between now and Labor Day continuing their support in the fight against muscular dystrophy and ALS. Fill the Boot began in 1954 in Boston and has grown into the greatest fundraiser in MDA history. In 2017, 69 departments will participate in this long-running event in support of local communities.

Aurora firefighters will be collecting at area intersections between now and Labor Day weekend. “Aurora firefighters have been part of this tradition for over 30 years,” said Jerry Bear, Executive Director of MDA. “Chief Robert Ward and all those in the department volunteering are looking forward to another good year.”

Contributions fuel MDA’s efforts to find research breakthroughs across diseases; to care for kids and adults from day one; and to empower families in hometowns across Missouri with services and support. In 2016, the FDA granted accelerated approval for the first drug to treat the underlying cause of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). It also approved the first disease-modifying drug for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Funds raised through the Aurora Fill the Boot events will help support MDA’s efforts to fund groundbreaking research to accelerate treatments and cures, provide care and support at MDA Care Centers located at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, and send kids living with muscular dystrophy and related life-threatening diseases to a weeklong, barrier-free MDA Summer Camp at Camp Windermere at Lake of the Ozarks.

“Fill the Boot is amazing. For 63 years the Firefighters have asked and the public has responded,” stated Jerry Bear, Executive Director of MDA. “The Firefighters work hard to organize Fill the Boot to make it successful and safe.” Over one million people in the United States are affected by the 43 neuromuscular diseases that MDA covers. That includes ALS where MDA has invested $325 million dollars in research and services since 1954.

Fill the Boot has easily recognizable posters and banners and everyone donating will receive a sticker to put on the dashboard of their car. The sticker also contains fire safety tips. The firefighters were honored June 25 before a St. Louis Cardinals game for their long-time efforts for MDA.