Firefighters ‘fill the boot’ for muscular dystrophy

SAN DIEGO – Hundreds of San Diego firefighters will launch a fundraising campaign Thursday to support kids and adults with muscular dystrophy and related muscle-debilitating diseases.

Starting at 7 a.m., more than 800 firefighters from the San Diego Fire- Rescue Department and International Fire Fighters Local 145 will stand at intersections throughout the city of San Diego to collect money.

“For more than six years, our members have been working hard for Muscular Dystrophy Association, filling the boot on behalf of this great charity,” Harold Schaitberger, the general president for the International Association of Fire Fighters, said in a statement. “Until there is a cure, we plan to continue the partnership.”

Nationally, the event garnered the participation of more than 100,000 firefighters last year and raised more than $24 million.

Funds raised locally will benefit two centers in San Diego — MDA Care Center at Rady Children’s Hospital and UC San Diego Health. The effort will also go to sponsor the attendance of 60 local youth at the MDA Summer Camp.