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Muscular Dystrophy Association International Association of Fire Fighters Launch 420 Fill the Boot Fundraisers in Cities Across America Labor Day Weekend for the Muscular Dystrophy Association

NEW YORK, NY – August 21, 2023 – The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) in partnership with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) today kick off more than 420 Fill the Boot events to raise lifesaving funds throughout Labor Day weekend in over 40 states. The funds raised by more than 339,000 IAFF members and their affiliates across the country go towards MDA's mission for scientific and clinical research and care for families living with muscular dystrophy, ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), and related neuromuscular diseases.

Online donations, which may be made at mda.org/ftb will continue as fire fighters take to the streets in communities across the country with boots in hand asking pedestrians, motorists, customers, and other passersby to support the mission.

"All of us at IAFF have remained committed to the Muscular Dystrophy Association as our charity of choice since 1954. It is incredibly gratifying to see the impact of the Fill the Boot fundraising program through MDA's mission, with new treatments for these genetic diseases, and better access to the world for families. While we Fill the Boot year-round, Labor Day Weekend is a special time where fire fighters across the country continue to collect critical funds in the community – one dollar at a time. We will always answer the call for MDA families!" said Roger Lopez, MDA/IAFF National Coordinator.

Image of a firefighter holding up a boot with his right arm.
The International Association of Fire Fighters will be in cities across America throughout Labor Day weekend with Fill the Boot fundraisers for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s mission.

The partnership between MDA and IAFF spans 69 years, beginning in 1954 when the IAFF signed a proclamation designating MDA as its charity of choice and vowing to continue raising awareness and funds until cures are found. To date, fire fighters nationwide have raised $690 million over nearly seven decades. The funds raised by IAFF have led to breakthroughs in research and many FDA-approved treatments for neuromuscular diseases, in addition to access to treatments and care from day one, and through newborn screening and other advocacy efforts.

"We are so grateful to our dedicated partners at IAFF and excited for the kick-off of hundreds of Fill the Boot events in communities across the country this Labor Day weekend. It’s the start of National Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Month and is an important time of year for this longstanding tradition. The funds raised by Fill the Boot have afforded the ‘best week of the year’ to children and young adults living with neuromuscular disease at MDA Summer Camp, and it's led to incredible breakthroughs in scientific and clinical discovery. Recently, the first-ever FDA approved gene therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy became a reality. Our MDA Care Center Network and MDA Gene Therapy Support Network are guiding families through these new treatments. In addition, this funding over the decades has yielded four other FDA approved treatments for a variety of neuromuscular diseases in just this year alone,” said Donald S. Wood, PhD, President and CEO, MDA.

When communities across the country stop for a fire fighter to Fill the Boot, MDA funds the mission to accelerate research, advance care, and advocate to empower people diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases to live longer, more independent lives.

IAFF Logo

The campaign will be shared on social media channels using the hashtag #FillTheBoot. Follow MDA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn. Follow the IAFF on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

About the IAFF

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) is the driving force behind nearly every advance in the fire and emergency services in the 21st century. With headquarters in Washington, D.C, and Ottawa, Ontario, the IAFF represents more than 339,000 full-time professional fire fighters and paramedics in more than 3,500 affiliates. IAFF members protect more than 85 percent of the population in communities throughout the United States and Canada. The IAFF is also one of the most active lobbying organizations in Washington, D.C. The IAFF Political Action Committee, FIREPAC, is among the top one-half of one percent of all federally registered PACs in the country.

About Muscular Dystrophy Association

Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is the #1 voluntary health organization in the United States for people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases. For over 70 years, MDA has led the way in accelerating research, advancing care, and advocating for the support of our families. MDA's mission is to empower the people we serve to live longer, more independent lives. To learn more visit mda.org and follow MDA on Instagram, Facebook, X, Threads, TikTok, LinkedIn, and YouTube.