Firefighters hope to fill boots with donations
The Muscular Dystrophy Association expects more than 80 firefighters to collect coins and dollars Aug. 4 at high-traffic areas across Lincoln County as part of the charity’s Fill the Boot campaign.
Barbara Hawk, MDA fundraising coordinator, said the money dropped into firefighters’ boots will allow the charity to offer medical clinics and summer camps for people with muscle-wasting diseases.
MDA offices in Charlotte and Mooresville serve 1,000 clients in 20 counties, including Lincoln, Hawk said.
“I don’t know what we would have done without them,” said Randy Hallman, a retired Lincolnton firefighter whose sons, now 29 and 26 were diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at young ages.
“I’ve been fortunate to get to see my kids grow up,” Hallman said. “It’s a devastating disease.”
When Hallman’s boys were younger, they attended a summer camp through MDA that offered fun activities and the opportunity to connect with children overcoming the same obstacles.
Firefighters across the nation have long supported MDA, but working alongside Hallman inspired Mike Hill’s staff at the Boger City Fire Department to take a much more vested interest.
“It makes the event a lot more personal when you know somebody involved,” Chief Hill said.
Hallman’s career with the Lincolnton and Boger City fire departments spanned 35 years. He retired three years ago.
MDA staff acknowledged that local fundraisers have smoldered in recent years, but they’re confident that Saturday’s countywide collection will reignite the community’s resolve against the disease.
“It takes someone from the area who’s willing to take the time and really rally the troops together,” Hawk said. Jason Ingle, assistant chief of Boger City Fire Department, accepted that role.
Hallman also takes pride in knowing that his colleagues continue to support the MDA.
“It’s great to know that you have got somebody there that wants to do something for you,” he said.
Want to help?
Firefighters will collect donations for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Fill the Boot campaign on Aug. 4 at the following locations:
• Walmart and Lowes parking lots in Denver and Lincolnton.
• N.C. 73 and N.C. 16.