August 17, 2014
The next time you are out at a shopping center in Albemarle County keep a look out for a firefighter with a boot.
For the next two weeks they will be raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) with the "Fill the Boot" campaign.
The MDA has had a partnership with the International Association of Firefighters for 60 years.
“In that time firefighters raised over $530 million to support MDA,” says Andrea Shaver, executive director for the Central Virginia chapter of the MDA. “That makes them by far our largest supporter nationally as well as locally.”
For Albemarle County they want to raise at least $13,000 this year.
“Our goal this year is $13,000, but we are hoping that if we reach $25,000 this year we will hit our 100,000 dollar mark in the county for the last eight years,” says assistant fire marshal Robert Gilmer.
The money goes straight to MDA to help fund research and to give care to people suffering from the various muscular diseases.
Michelle Miles has a rare form of muscular dystrophy and she has been a partner with the Albemarle County Fire Department since 2007.
“I've grown up with these firefighters and the biggest thing that they do for me through funding the MDA is allowing me to meet other people who have muscular dystrophy,” says Miles, a senior at Monticello High School.
She says she has met and gone to elementary, middle and high schools with other students also suffering from muscular dystrophy.
“Those years are challenging enough as it is and when you walk differently from other people, have different physical challenges and a wheel chair in high school, sometimes it can be rough to go through alone,” says Miles. ”I don't have to go through it alone because the MDA brings together kids all over Virginia who have muscular dystrophy and they couldn't do it without the firefighters.”
The MDA of Central Virginia supports nearly 2,100 families in the area, including the family of Michelle Miles.
Firefighters will be filling the boot from August 18 until Labor Day at these locations:
• The Hollymead Town Center near Bonefish
• The Rivanna Ridge Shopping Center on Pantops Mountain
• The shopping center on Millcreek Drive
• The shopping center in Scottesville
• Market at Bellair on Ivy Road
• Other locations in Albemarle County
You can also donate online by clicking on the link under the photo.