'Fill the Boot' raises $15,500 for MDA

Posted: Friday, September 06, 2002

The turnout was just what Central Emergency Services had hoped it would be.

CES met its goal of $15,500, with some loose change left to contribute to next year's "Fill the Boot" campaign.

The campaign generates money for the Alaska Chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Firefighters are Alaska's largest contributors to MDA.

"We are pretty lucky our guys are so dedicated," said Amanda Tew, district director for MDA Alaska, about the $110,000 that was collected in Alaska for this year's "Fill the Boot" campaign.

"The community was very generous," said CES Fire Marshal Gary Hale.

The two days of the campaign -- last Friday and Saturday --were different in some ways.

"On Friday, we got the bigger bills," Hale said.

There also were more vehicles passing through. It seemed many of them were workers and on their breaks, Hale said.

"On Saturday people would come in spurts," he said. There were more shoppers and travelers on the road.

High school students were donating as well, Hale said. They gave any loose change in the car.

"It was quite the challenge," he said about meeting the goal.

Contributions from local businesses were helpful to this year's campaign; Kaladi Brothers Coffee Co. gave coffee and money, Jersey Subs supplied sandwiches, Godfather's Pizza gave pizza, and the Moose is Loose donated doughnuts, said Hale.

Tew said having the MDA Alaska Goodwill Ambassador Adam Freestone in Soldotna helped the firefighters out.

Knowing the family has made CES "dedicated because of a personal connection," she said.

Hale agreed. The entire Freestone family was "outstanding, as far as being troopers," he said.

They helped collect funds at the CES station and then counted money for the cause.

The family also joined CES in Anchorage for the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon, where they presented the $15,500 check.

All of the money collected stays in Alaska to help pay for summer camp, medical clinics and medical equipment for people with Muscular Dystrophy.

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