Merrimack firefighters Fill the Boot, raise $7K for MDA

MANCHESTER – Merrimack Firefighters Local 2904 raised $7,127 during the 2015 Fill the Boot campaign to help save and improve the lives of people fighting muscle disease in New Hampshire.

Muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other related life-threatening diseases take away people’s ability to walk, move, smile, talk and even breathe.

"For six decades, firefighters have fueled the MDA’s mission to find treatments and cures for life-threatening muscle diseases, and this year’s Fill the Boot results are a perfect example of the true dedication Merrimack Firefighters Local 2904 has toward supporting the families we serve," MDA fundraising coordinator Michele Masse said. "We’re grateful for the support of these inspiring, selfless individuals who provide life-saving help that will fund research, advocate for children and adults affected by muscle disease, and rally our community to fight back."

Funds raised through 2015 Fill the Boot events build on decades of research progress, helping push science to its limits in the search for treatments and cures.

Dollars raised also help support the MDA’s life-enhancing programs such as support groups and clinics, including the MDA Clinic at Dartmouth-Hitchcock in Lebanon and Manchester.

They also make MDA summer camp possible so kids with muscle disease can enjoy "the best week of the year" at Agassiz Village in Poland, Maine, and nearly 80 other locations nationwide.

As the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s largest national sponsor, the IAFF fuels the MDA’s mission to find treatments and cures for life-threatening muscle diseases. In addition to Fill the Boot events, contributions from charity baseball games and other local events hosted or sponsored by the IAFF help support the MDA’s efforts to raise awareness and provide professional and public education about neuromuscular diseases.

IAFF support for the MDA began in 1954 when the organization committed by proclamation to support the MDA until a cure is found, and the organization’s unwavering commitment to the MDA has remained strong to this day.

The IAFF raised $100,000 for the MDA in 1955 and $1 million in 1970, and firefighters continue to raise the bar in their fundraising efforts. In 2013, more than 100,000 firefighters participated in Fill the Boot events across the country and raised $26.2 million.

To date, the IAFF has raised $558 million for the MDA.