This weekend, individuals passing through Lincoln County will have the opportunity to fill local firefighters’ boots with change and help make a difference in the lives of those living locally and nationally with neuromuscular diseases.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association’s local district office in Mooresville contacted the Lincoln County Firefighters Association about adding the county to their list of fundraising locations this summer, according to local MDA Fundraising Coordinator Barbara Hawk.
The local MDA office spans a total of 10 counties, and in 2011, raised more than $100,000 for the organization and it services for local residents which include summer camps and clinics, support groups, flu shots, research and medical equipment repair for people registered with the MDA.
“We provide services to people locally that we do our fundraisers in,” Hawk said.
The city of Lincolnton previously participated in the nationwide “Fill the Boot” campaign but has been out-of-the-loop for the last two years, Hawk said. During the city fire department’s MDA fundraising years, firefighters at one point drew in between $15,000 and $18,000, according to organization officials.
During that time, Lincolnton firefighter Randy Hallman took on the initiative and raised much community awareness about the organization since both his children suffered from muscular dystrophy, Boger City Asst. Fire Chief Bryan Lynch told the Times-News Thursday.
Lincoln County firefighters have set this year’s target goal at $10,000, with expectations to exceed that number.
“I am certain they will surpass that goal,” Hawk said.
Most boot donations come in the form of change since firefighters typically collect funds along area roadways.
In addition, all MDA funds are raised entirely through sponsorship, not government assistance, Hawk said. In addition, Diamond Water chipped in and donated water bottles for Lincoln County fire crews working this weekend’s event.
More than 80 firefighters from Denver, Lincolnton, Boger City, North 321, Howards Creek and East Lincoln Fire Departments plan to participate in the fundraising effort. Firefighters will have boots on-hand 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the following county locations:
Wal-Mart Supercenter, 306 N. Generals Boulevard in Lincolnton
Lowe’s Home Improvement, 1603 E. Main Street in Lincolnton
West Express Convenient Store, 4472 W. Hwy. 27 in Vale
Bi-Lo, 427 N. Generals Boulevard in Lincolnton
Bi-Lo, 742 W. Hwy. 27 in Lincolnton
Wal-Mart Supercenter, 7131 Hwy. 73 in Denver
Harris Teeter, 2318 E. Main St. in Lincolnton (Boger City)
The old intersection of N.C. 16 & N.C. 73
The intersection of Campground Road & N.C. 16 in Denver
“Firefighters are very important to us as an organization and in the community,” Hawk said.