1. #1
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    Cool Provo Fire Dept raises 40K for MDA

    Provo firefighters raise $40,000 for muscular dystrophy


    Provo firefighters raised $40,000 in just one week for the Fill The Boot campaign benefitting muscular dystrophy patients.

    Provo firefighter Brian Fish said firefighters were out in force all last week, walking up and down the streets, looking for contributions to the cause, and they had an impressive donation for the Muscular Dystrophy Association to show for it. The $40,000 donation, which was presented at the MDA Telethon on Labor Day, was the second largest from Utah, he said.

    "I believe the people down here are generous, and they like to give," Fish said.

    Firefighters around the country collect money in the Fill The Boot campaign, and money goes towards research, treatment and equipment for more than 40 neuromuscular diseases. Fish said collecting money for the cause is a tradition among firefighters, and one he is happy to be involved with.

    "I'm just thankful that we actually have the opportunity to go out and be a part of it," he said.

    Jeremy Millet, Provo firefighters union president, said the city and its administration have been very supportive of Fill The Boot, and firefighters have been allowed to do Fill The Boot in between calls. He said firefighters are dedicated to the cause, and some even worked while they were off-duty during the BYU football game.

    Millet said firefighters are not only involved in the annual fund-raiser but also participate in camps for children with neuromuscular disorders. He said they have gotten to know the children over the years and have seen some pass away, which makes the fund raiser a more personal cause.

    "You really feel for the family when you get that involved with it," he said.

    Millet said he is grateful to the citizens of Provo and Utah County who have contributed each year. He said there would be no money for the research if citizens were not so willing to contribute. Residents have even more reason to give, he said, because donations will stay close to home.

    "The MDA money that is raised in Utah, stays in Utah," he said.

    Firefighter David Yei said the Fill The Boot campaign is a good cause, but not many people know why the firefighters are walking on the streets collecting money. He said many people think they are collecting money for the fire department, but all of the proceeds go to the MDA. In the past, people knew of "Jerry's Kids," named for the national chairman, Jerry Lewis. However, he said people do not seem to know about the fund raiser as much.

    "I don't think people understand what that means," he said.

    Yei estimated about 70 percent of people do not know what the Fill The Boot campaign is for. He said he hopes to put up banners and posters next year to help educate the public and increase donations. Even with the lack of awareness, Yei said the public has been generous. He said he has seen all sorts of people donate, even down to children giving their piggy banks. He said he is happy the department was able to raise so much this year.

    "That is a fantastic number, considering the economy and actual decrease in donations," he said.

    Online: For more information, visit www.mda.org.
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    Excellent work, Provo!
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