MDA Telethon

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The MDA Telethon is in full swing. I enjoy seeing this event year after year. I will not be making it to the local event in Lynchburg this year as I have the past several years. This weekend, across the Nation and in Canada, Firefighters will be collecting for the MDA through Fill-the-Boot Campaigns. Local 1132′s Fill the Boot was held two weeks ago due to scheduling conflicts. Unfortunately Local 1132 had a sub-par year. Being that a good year is only a couple of thousand dollars, you can imagine what a sub-par year equates to.

There are many firefighters out there who understand the partnership the IAFF and MDA have made in the pursuit of finding a cure for Muscular Dystrophy. These Locals raise tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in the matter of one week. Some Locals have the blessing of their Departments and City Governments to collect while on duty. The firefighters take care of the logistics, safety, and scheduling. In Roanoke, the City Government has enacted a panhandling law. This law restricts anyone from collecting on streets.

I have collected at the Fill the Boot campaign each year for the past 5 years. Eventually my coworkers will understand the reward of collecting for the MDA and seeing the children we help. The benefits of helping out one day to collect are very rewarding. After all, there are those people who wait for things to happen, and those who make those things happen. Hopefully, the Local 1132 firefighters will enter the spirited competition which so many IAFF Locals enjoy each year. This competition is healthy in getting the firefighters to raise more and more money each year.

If you would like to see Local 1132′s MDA ambassador Cory Craighead visit the Local 1132 link. Cory came out this year with his father, Steve, to help us collect money for the MDA. Cory has recently received a brand new motorized wheelchair he is very proud of.

North Carolina firefighters are currently trying to pass legislation enabling them to collect at intersections:

For the third time in 12 weeks, the PFFPNC was successful in passing legislation to benefit IAFF Locals in North Carolina. The latest legislation paves the way for IAFF Locals to conduct fill-the-boot drives on state highway and road right-of-ways inside municipalities. The boot drives help raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. On July 26, 2006, HB 1413 (with the PFFPNC amendment) was ratified by the North Carolina General Assembly. Current state law, G.S. 20-175, forbids fill-the-boot activities on state right-of-ways even when they are inside the boundaries of a local government. In years past, IAFF Locals conducted fill-the-boot drives across the state on highway and road right-of-ways.The State always turned a blind eye to this type of activity. In recent years, many cities and towns pointed to G.S. 20-175 as a liability and restricted fire fighters and paramedics from collecting money for MDA. Subsequently, the total amount of money raised dwindled. The PFFPNC asked that an amendment to overturn this General Statute be added to existing legislation. (Read More)

Virginia will likely look into legislation which would mimic NC’s. These laws supercede those of the Local laws.

Next year will be our year. I look forward to seeing you out there.

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