Hampton Roads officials kick off annual Fill the Boot campaign for MDA

Posted at 4:25 PM, Jun 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-30 16:25:13-04

Hampton Roads, Va. – Fire Chiefs or representatives from all over Hampton Roads hosted a special event to kick off the annual Fill the Boot fundraising campaign to help kids and adults with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related muscle-debilitating diseases live longer and grow stronger.

Representatives from Suffolk, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, York County, James City County, Yorktown, Williamsburg, City of Poquoson and Newport News, local professional fire fighters, along with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA of Greater Virginia) were at this event.

The kick-off event was Saturday, June 29, and continued more than 65 years of fire fighter tradition, providing steadfast drive and uncommon caring to help free individuals from the harm of muscle diseases that take away everyday freedoms like walking, hugging, playing and even breathing.

Taking place in the Press Box at the Norfolk Tides’ Harbor Park, the event featured notable speakers including City of Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander, Fire Chiefs from local area fire departments, City Council members and other government officials, as well as MDA Goodwill Ambassador families Local radio talent, Stephanie Taylor from WGH-FM 97.3 The Eagle will be MC of the Kick-Off. After the Media Kick-Off event at 3:30 p.m. the local fire departments participated in “The Battle of the Bravest” softball tournament prior to the Norfolk Tides playing the Charlotte Knights.

“We couldn’t be more proud to kick off this year’s Fill the Boot campaign alongside the inspiring, selfless individuals of the City of Suffolk, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, City of Chesapeake, Portsmouth, York County, James City County, Yorktown, Williamsburg, Newport News, Federal Fire Fighters who make a profound impact on our families’ health, wellbeing and quality of life,” said MDA Fill the Boot Lead, Darcy Warren. “Together with their unwavering Fill the Boot support, we will raise critical funds and awareness to empower kids and adults in Greater Virginia with life-enhancing resources and support that will open new possibilities so they can live a life without limits.”

This year’s Fill the Boot campaign officially begins in July and will run through September throughout Hampton Roads. The City of Suffolk Fire Department has completed their collections but will be at various events throughout the summer continuing to raise more than $60,000 for MDA. Thousands of local fire fighters will fan out across the cities with boots in hand as they greet citizens asking them to make a donation in support of MDA’s mission to find treatments and cures for muscle-debilitating diseases that severely weaken muscle strength and mobility.

Funds raised through the 2019 Fill the Boot events help MDA’s efforts to fund groundbreaking research and life-enhancing programs, such as state-of-the-art support groups and Care Centers, including the MDA Care Center at CHKD. They also help send more than 65 local kids to “the best week of the year” at MDA summer camp at no cost to their families at the Airfield 4-H Camp in Wakefield, VA.