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Idaho Falls Fire Department’s ‘Fill the Boot’ fundraiser breaks another record

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

The fundraiser, held at the intersection of Hitt Road and 17th Street had local firefighters hitting the streets with boots in hand asking pedestrians, motorists, and other passersby to donate to the Muscular Dystrophy Association on May 6th and 7th.

This year, the event was able to raise $53,178.32, an increase of over $3,000 compared to last year’s event and an all-time record for this fundraiser. The number is still climbing as donations are still being accepted.

Part of the reason this year was so successful was because the Idaho Falls Community Hospital donated $5,000 before the fundraiser began.

The fundraiser has been on an upward trajectory since it was forced to go online in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the second year since the pandemic that firefighters have been physically out in the community again, raising money for the MDA.

“I think everybody went through a really challenging time through COVID,” Fire department spokeswoman Kerry Hammon said. “I think that it resulted in people coming back together in the community to accomplish goals together.”

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

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

“It is actually amazing to see the generosity of a ton of different people, from different walks of life,” Hitch says. “We actually had a few people stop by and donate, and said that they or their family members had been affected with different forms of muscular dystrophy. It’s pretty amazing to see the support and that it actually makes a difference.”

The money from the fundraiser goes toward, “advancing care​, accelerating research and advocacy​, and uniting the community​ in support of people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases,” according to a news release.

“Some of the money goes to research and over the past couple of years, they’ve come out with quite a few different medications that extend life expectancy, so it’s awesome to see that it actually makes a difference.”

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

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