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Austin fire department kicks off annual fundraiser

AUSTIN, Minn. (FOX 47) – For 65 years, firefighters across the nation have been spreading awareness and raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association or MDA during the Fill the Boot drive.

Muscular dystrophy refers to a group of diseases that result in gradual weakness and loss of muscle mass. A cure has not yet been found, but treatment and medication can help with symptoms.

From 3 til 6, through Friday, the community can find firefighters with boots in hand at multiple intersections in town.

Firefighters will be asking drivers, walkers and any who pass by to make donations to the MDA.

Contributions have helped fund groundbreaking research and life-enhancing programs, such as state-of-the-art support groups and Care Centers, including the MDA Care Center at Mayo in Rochester.

“Everybody gets on board and it’s a lot of fun getting out there and interact with the community,” said firefighter Jim Halsey. “The community has been really supportive of it.”

Last year, Austin’s fire department raised the most money ever since they began taking part in 2009.

Firefighters across the country raised a total of $20 million.

Alex Tejada

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