Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

August 29, 2013

Get the ‘boot’ and help good cause

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — Getting the boot while helping a good cause is again the idea behind Pauls Valley firefighters joining a national campaign meant to help a special group of folks.

Local firemen are set for a three-day run of volunteering their time to help a greater cause during the Labor Day weekend.

It’s called Fill the Boot campaign, which involves firefighters on city streets in their communities looking to collect donations for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

Just like in past years the boots held by firefighters will be used to hold any donations given by motorists.

“What they see is firemen holding boots,” said Marcus Hamilton, assistant fire chief in Pauls Valley, referring to motorists.

“We’re looking for any kind of donations that people can give,” he said.

“If people are unable to come by but still want to give, give us a call and we’ll come by and pick it up.”

The firefighters armed with boots will take their positions Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 30-31 and Sept. 1 at various downtown intersections.

This weekend is far from a holiday for the local firefighters and many others across the state and country as they basically volunteer their own time for the big national fundraiser that helps the MDA

“We get absolutely none of this money. We donate our time and all the money goes to MDA.”

The volunteer work does make sense since the International Association of Firefighters is the largest national sponsor of the MDA.

According to Hamilton, the boot campaign and all the donations given to it does make a big difference.

“It’s huge,” he said. “It’s a big help. They really rely on this Fill the Boot.”

The best part is all the money raised in the boot campaign here and throughout the state will stay in Oklahoma to help out children inflicted with muscular dystrophy.

“Everything we can collect during this campaign helps kids in Oklahoma,” Hamilton said.

“What we collect in Oklahoma stays in Oklahoma,” he said. “It all stays in the borders here.

“This money sends kids to camp, buys wheelchairs. It helps the kids in Oklahoma.”

The funds also help with professional and public health education and other MDA programs.