Firefighters support Fill the Boot campaign

Firefighter Steve Szaflarski manning his station out on the corner of Main Street and Northdale Boulevard in Coon Rapids Monday. Photo by T.J. Armstrong
Firefighter Steve Szaflarski manning his station out on the corner of Main Street and Northdale Boulevard in Coon Rapids Monday. Photo by T.J. Armstrong

Firefighters across the U.S. participate in the Fill the Boot event alongside the non-profit organization Muscular Dystrophy Association to raise funds to fight muscle diseases. There are 17 forms of MDA that affect youth and adults.

For the fifth time, members of the Coon Rapids Fire Department stood on Main Street and Northdale Boulevard in Coon Rapids to raise awareness and accept donations on June 26-28. In 2008, Anoka County disapproved of the event in fear of safety hazards by officers standing close to the busy street.

“We started back up again in 2015. Now we have safety vests and are able to turn off the left turn lane to make things safer,” said Firefighter Pat Metz.

Firefighters were at the intersection from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3-6:30 p.m. each of the three days, Monday through Wednesday.

Some firefighters were called on duty to help support while other off-duty firefighters also joined the efforts. The Minneapolis and St. Paul fire departments also stood out to raise donations. All of the money raised stays in the community. A significant portion of the donations go toward Camp Courage, an organization that helps individuals with muscle dystrophy in their day-to-day needs.

Last year’s Coon Rapids campaign raised more than $30,000.

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