In a timely article by Associate Editor Lucie R. Willsie, published in last Sunday’s edition, you may have read about why they do it and how, when and what the firefighters hope to accomplish.
It’s an annual commitment by members of the Cleveland Fire Department, in conjunction with Cleveland city government officials, to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Labor Day Telethon hosted each year — and for many, many years — by celebrity comedian Jerry Lewis, a man who is overcoming many health struggles in his own life.
Local firefighters’ goal this year is $21,000. They raised $17,000 last year.
The community lifesavers got off to a great start last weekend — especially with it being the state’s annual Sales Tax Holiday, so shopping traffic was blazing — but they need more to reach their lofty, but realistic, goal.
This is a hardworking group that takes its civic involvement seriously. These firemen work daily to save lives in two ways — from the present day death-grip of infernos engulfing family homes to looking ahead to a future where Muscular Dystrophy is merely a medical memory long since conquered through research fueled by your kind donations in campaigns like “Fill the Boot.”
Did you know the Cleveland Fire Department has ranked third overall in the state of Tennessee for this campaign? Perhaps we should phrase it another way. These courageous firefighters have been so successful — ranking third in the state — thanks to Cleveland and Bradley County area community donors.
You don’t even have to be a Walmart shopper to help. If you are moved by this cause, simply drive be and drop in your donations. The boots will be waiting.
On the boot campaign’s opening day last Saturday, Lt. Gordon Ford told our editor, “We’re doing well, but we always need more.”
That isn’t a statement of greed. It is a heartfelt plea for support from a community that has proven time and again that we care about others, we believe in helping our neighbors and we have faith that one day Muscular Dystrophy will eventually be wiped from the face of this earth. True, it might happen in the longer term instead of the short, but researchers make progress each day ... thanks to those who support causes like “Fill the Boot.”
Firefighters across America have aided in this cause for the past 45 years. Can you imagine the elation of these groups when newspaper headlines gladly report the demise of Muscular Dystrophy?
Ford’s optimism is well appreciated. He told us, “We always hope we won’t have to come back next year ... ” because a cure will have been confirmed. But until then, the firefighters will be out there in the heat, the drought, the rain or whatever conditions August brings.
We thank these firefighters — not just in Cleveland, but across our proud land.
These boot-wielding men and women might not be fighting a fire while on duty with the MD campaign, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a fire in their hearts — a blaze that won’t be extinguished anytime soon.
Won’t you help this group? A dime ... a quarter ... any loose change, or more, will be appreciated.
And when you do help fill the boot, please take a moment to thank these men and women for all they are doing to save lives ... each and every day, whether they are hosing a fire or a disease.