Labor Day weekend drivers reach deep to help find a cure for MD
For most Alaskan families Labor Day weekend is the last chance to enjoy a family barbeque, weekend fishing or camping trip. However, for the last 11 years, the men, women, family and friends of the Central Emergency Services area personnel have volunteered their time to stand near traffic at the “Y” in Soldotna to solicit funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). CES Fire Marshall Gary Hale, alias Captain Burn-E, who has been actively involved in the event since its inception set an all time goal for this year’s enthusiastic bunch of boot fillers of $16,500. “One of the reasons our Street Walkers I call them, are so committed to this effort is because every dollar we collect stays in Alaska to help our MDA children,” said Hale.
As the CES “Street walkers” accompanied by fire safety clowns Captain Burn-E and Edith took the streets on a beautiful Friday afternoon they were hopefully optimistic. But by mid-afternoon the clowns were candidly confessing feelings of pessimism as to meeting their hefty goal, “What with Katrina and economic concerns I think we’re just not seeing as many of the big bills as we usually do,” confessed the Clown Friday afternoon. As rain clouds gathered and Saturday dawned a wet and soggy day, the Street Walkers faithfully returned to their posts boot in hand. By the end of the day the community that is known for its generosity once again answered the call at the “Y”and overwhelmed its emergency responders, “When the final count was in we collected not only our record setting goal of $16,500, but $700 more or about $17,200. So we put our heads together and decided to present the American Red Cross a check for $700 for the Katrina relief effort,” said Hale. In an open letter to the community Hale and Chief Chris Mokracek wrote: “From your help, Central Emergency Services has raised over $140,000 over the last eleven years for this worthy cause. Once again residents of the Kenai Peninsula have shown their giving and caring support. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
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