Vermillion firefighters will â

The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), in conjunction with the Vermillion Fire Department will be conducting its first annual "Fill the Boot" event Oct. 10 benefiting research and local services for the South Dakota Chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  You will see firefighters walking through the Dakota Days parade carrying their boots. 

After the parade from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. they will be on Dakota Street in front of the USD Foundation and from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the new city park on Main Street. If you see them, please drop a donation into their boots!

Layne Stewart, president of the Vermillion Fire Fighters said, "Vermillion firefighters are proud to join the efforts for MDA. It's important to note that all money raised during fill-the-boot is donated to the greater South Dakota Chapter of MDA. These contributions send area children to MDA summer camp and help support the over 550 local families living with neuromuscular diseases; thanks to the citizens of Vermillion for their support and generosity with fill-the-boot."

"Fill the Boot" is an over 50-year tradition that began in Boston in 1952 when a local fire fighter was approached by a friend whose child was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. 5 fire fighters headed out in their station's neighborhood that year and collected over $5000. Since that humble beginning, the International Association of Fire Fighters have continued this first heroic act across the country and officially adopted the MDA as their 'Charity of Choice' in 1954.  Since then, members of the International Association of Fire Fighters from across the United States have raised over $300 million to support MDA's Summer Camp programs, research and services.

MDA is a voluntary health agency that works in each local community to combat neuromuscular diseases through basic and applied scientific investigation, local comprehensive programs of medical services and clinical care, such as those offered at Neurology Associates and Sanford Children's Hospital, and widespread professional and public health education. MDA seeks no government or United Way funding or fees from those it serves. The association's programs are funded almost entirely by individual, private contributions.

Firefighter representatives from across the country presented the proceeds from their nationwide collection on Labor Day during the 42nd Annual Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon. Proceeds totaled over $25 million, nationally.

For more information on the greater South Dakota Area Chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association please call (605) 339-2728 or visit

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