SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – A large donation from the Springfield Fire Department will go to life-changing programs, treatment and research for people living with muscular dystrophy.
Friday, firefighters presented the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) with a check for $16,747.21. The money was collected during the Annual Fill the Boot campaign in September.
“It’s amazing. I’m really just speechless about how much was raised. It’s great to know our local firefighters work so hard to raise money for this cause,” said Christina Williams, the mother of a 19-year-old with muscular dystrophy.
Williams’s son, Preston Milton, uses a wheelchair and needs daily assistance with feeding and dressing. The family uses MDA services, including a summer camp Preston has enjoyed for many years.
“I know all of the kids enjoy camp. It just gives them time away to be around friends that are just like them,” Williams said.
The family accepted the check from firefighters Friday, along with representatives from the MDA.
Almost one-third of the organization’s funding comes from the Fill the Boot campaign. MDA development assistant Rachel Means explained the money goes to services, programming and research, including a promising new drug to treat the symptoms of muscular dystrophy.
“It’s really a critical time to join MDA’s mission and help fund research so we can continue to make breakthroughs like that,” Means said.
The Springfield Fire Department is consistently among the top fundraisers for MDA in the state and the highest earner in the region.
Andrew Rigsbee, the union president for the IFF Local 333 explained the group’s effort is compatible with a firefighter’s willingness to serve.
“We have a deep-seated belief that you should help people, you should try to make people’s life better,” Rigsbee said.
Preston’s family said the fundraising not only helps support current services, it also gives them hope for the future.
“It’s just a really rough road, but things like this help make it a little bit easier,” Williams said.
You can donate to MDA during your local fire department’s Fill the Boot campaign, or get involved directly with the organization by clicking here.