Firefighters 'Fill the Boot'

Local firefighters are lining Foothill Boulevard at Memorial Park this week to collect donations for the L.A. County Fire Department’s annual “Fill the Boot” fundraising campaign for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Firefighters from Station 19 in La Cañada and Station 63 in La Crescenta manned posts alongside MDA volunteers from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday near the corners of Verdugo and La Cañada boulevards.

Other shifts will return to the park at those same times on Friday and Saturday, and passersby are encouraged to drop a buck or two in a firefighter’s work boot to support MDA research and family programs.

“We absolutely love doing this. There are kids everywhere who have to deal with this illness, so this is a way to give back to the community. And it makes us feel good, too,” said Capt. Steve Zermeno of Fire Station 63..

Proceeds from “Fill the Boot” benefit muscular dystrophy research as well as support programs for L.A.-area families and children affected by the disease, including the MDA’s summer camp program, said Nicole LeLevier-Joseph, fundraising coordinator for the MDA’s Los Angeles Valley Chapter.

The event is also a lot of fun for those who participate, said Station 19 Firefighter-paramedics Dan Ward and Eras Noel, who both worked the traffic median to snag donations from drivers heading eastbound on Foothill.

“We have a good time. It’s for a great cause, and we try to have as much fun as we can — and not to get hit by a car. You have to be quick on your feet,” Ward said.

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