Idaho Falls Fire Department’s ‘Fill the Boot’ Fundraiser Breaks New Record

IDAHO FALLS — The Idaho Falls Fire Department’s annual “Fill the Boot” event broke its fundraising record for the second year in a row.

The fundraiser, held at the intersection of Hitt Road and 17th Street, saw local firefighters take to the streets with boots in hand to ask pedestrians, motorists and other passersby to make a donation to the Muscular Dystrophy Association on May 6 and 7.

This year, the event raised $53,178.32, an increase of over $3,000 from last year’s event and an all-time fundraising record. The number continues to grow as donations are still being accepted.

This year has been so successful in part because the Idaho Falls Community Hospital donated $5,000 before fundraising began.

Fundraising has been on an upward trajectory since being forced to go online in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the second year since the pandemic that firefighters have once again been physically present in the community, raising funds for the MDA.

“I think everyone’s been through a really tough time thanks to COVID,” fire department spokeswoman Kerry Hammon said. “I think it made people come together in the community to achieve goals together.”

This year the event was able to raise $53,178.32, an increase of over $3,000 from last year’s event. Photo courtesy of the Idaho Falls Fire Department.

Jimmie Hitch, Idaho Falls Fire Department driver and MDA Fill the Boot coordinator, was on the street during the event, asking residents to donate and speaking to those affected by different forms of muscular dystrophy .

“It’s actually amazing to see the generosity of a ton of different people, from different walks of life,” Hitch says. “In fact, a few people stopped and donated, and said that they or family members had been affected by different forms of muscular dystrophy. It’s pretty amazing to see the support and that it really makes a difference.

The fundraising money is used to “advance care, accelerate research and advocacy, and unite the community to support people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related neuromuscular diseases,” according to a statement from hurry.

“Some of the money goes to research and over the last couple of years they’ve come out with quite a few different drugs that extend lifespan, so it’s great to see that it’s really making a difference.”

Individuals and local businesses can still support the firefighters and the Muscular Dystrophy Association by donating online here.

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