Fill the Boot fundraiser returns to Issaquah

July 27, 2010

By Chantelle Lusebrink

Help local firefighters find a cure for muscular dystrophy

Give a dollar or $20 to local firefighters and help a child with muscular dystrophy go to camp.

Eastside Fire & Rescue Firefighters of Local 2878 will be raising money in the streets from 2-6 p.m. July 30 and Sept. 10.

The fundraiser is part of the firefighter’s annual Fill the Boot fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Jerry’s Kids.

“It is a great cause and we’re committed to finding a cure,” EFR firefighter and organizer Thomas Tull said.

The International Association of Firefighters’ has been involved with the Muscular Dystrophy Association for more than 50 years and has made a commitment to find a cure, Tull said. Each year, thousands of firefighters support that effort by participating in this fundraiser.

Firefighters will take money collections from motorists at the intersections of:

  • Front Street and Sunset Way in Issaquah
  • Southeast Issaquah Pine Lake Road and 228th Avenue Southeast in Sammamish
  • Bendigo Boulevard Southwest and Southwest Mount Si Boulevard in North Bend.

One hundred percent of the proceeds help support research, purchase necessities for patients and pays for children to attend a local summer camp.

“We have many children in our area that suffer from muscular dystrophy and all the funding we raise goes to help children in our area,” Tull said. “Every penny will help purchase a wheelchair, ramps, braces, medicine and therapy needed for them. In addition, the Muscular Dystrophy Association puts on the camp in North Bend that the children look forward to going to all year.”

Two years ago, Issaquah firefighters temporarily moved to the Safeway on Northwest Gilman Boulevard after city officials denied them a permit to work the intersection of Front Street and Northwest Gilman Boulevard because of the then-new city panhandling ordinance.

That ordinance bans begging or soliciting funds in areas of the city that pose a risk to traffic and public safety or are intimidating to drivers. Anyone caught soliciting funds in prohibited areas can be charged with a misdemeanor and face a fine of up to $1,000 or up to 90 days in jail.

After finding a compromise with city officials, firefighters have been back in the intersections and raised nearly $38,000 last year from motorists in Issaquah, Sammamish and North Bend, Ryan Anderson, a spokesman for the local union said. Their total earned them second in the county and third in the state for the most money raised by unions for the event.

This year, firefighters are hoping to raise even more, Tull said.

“We are fortunate to work in a very giving community. Every year, we hold a successful fundraiser, so our goal each year, is to raise as much as possible,” he said. “We’re sure that we will have another great event,” with our community’s help.

Like last year, firefighters will only accept donations at a red light, so as to not unnecessarily stop traffic, and will wear reflective vests.

Chantelle Lusebrink: 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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