The department’s annual Fill the Boot drive kicked off April 4 and will run through June 13.
“The proceeds … assist our local MDA families by helping to fund our clinics,” said Pamela Wheatley, executive director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Greater Atlanta.
“We have three clinics that we support here locally — one at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and then two at Emory. In addition to those clinics, the money also goes to support helping to send kids with muscular dystrophy to MDA summer camp.”
She said the collection also helps fund medical equipment repairs for local families impacted by muscular dystrophy.
The Milton Fire Department has been a part of the Fill the Boot drive since the department was formed in 2007. Not counting this year’s collection efforts, local firefighters have raised more than $354,000 for the association over the years, said Milton Fire Chief Robert Edgar.
“We have the highest collection other than [the city of] Warner Robins in the state but they do [their collection] all year long and we do ours six weeks out of the year, which is pretty impressive,” he said.
Wheatley said, “Milton is our highest fundraising fire department for greater Atlanta.”
The department has repeatedly broken fundraising records for the association and hopes to do so again this year, Edgar said. He said this year is off to a great start.
“The first day out, the guys collected over $15,000,” he said. “That’s a new-time high for us for a one-day collection.”
Edgar said he hopes the department reaches the $70,000 mark in terms of fundraising this year. He said the firefighters are really dedicated to the cause and also attributes the fundraising success to the community.
“The community is just a great support to the firefighters and the cause that we’ve chosen to support,” Edgar said.
“We certainly couldn’t do this without the great support that we get from our community and all the folks that pass through on our roadways.”
Firefighters can be found collecting money every other Friday at Milton’s busiest intersections during morning, midday and evening rush-hour periods. Edgar said despite the collection, there are always firefighters available to respond to calls without delay.