Aurora Firefighters are participating in the 65th annual Fill the Boot benefitting the Greater Ozarks Chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Aurora is one of the 63 departments in the Ozarks that is collecting. “Fill the Boot is off to great start. Several departments don’t wait until Labor Day weekend to collect and the response so far has been encouraging,” stated Jerry Bear, Executive Director of MDA. “Firefighters are doing events earlier.”

Firefighters are watching their extraordinary determination and hard work usher in a new era of progress in research and treatments. Seven new drugs have been approved since 2015. The treatment Spinraza has been used in Spinal Muscular Atrophy to allow a new born baby with a life expectancy of one year to “dance with the doctor” at age three and her parents saving for college. There are many other stories to be written about gene therapy in the future. MDA plans to release 45 more new drugs

and treatments in the next three years.

“The Firefighters have a special dedication to MDA. They work so hard. The

departments vary from all-volunteer to all-professional and a mix of both. The smaller departments also have great success, thanks to a generous public. In 2018 Aurora collected $3344. That’s outstanding! We really appreciate Chief Ward and all the firefighters” Bear added.

Funds raised through the Fill the Boot will also support MDA Care Centers located at MercyHospital in Springfield. Kids between 6-17 years old with muscular dystrophy attend a week long, barrier-free MDA Summer Camp at Camp Wonderland. Over one million people in the United States are affected by the 43-neuromuscular disease covered by MDA. That includes ALS. MDA has invested $325 million dollars in research and services since 1954.

Silver Dollar City will be honoring the Firefighters Labor Day. Silver Dollar City will be hosting an Ice Cream Social for all participating departments. Firefighters will gather at Echo Hollow to appear on KOLR10-TV to announce their totals. 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.