Selma Fire Department to fight disease, not flames

Published 8:55pm Tuesday, August 6, 2013

By Jay Sowers

The Selma Times-Journal

Instead of working together to battle flames and smoke, several members of the Selma Fire Department will spend this Saturday on the front lines of the fight against muscular dystrophy.

Candice Irwin, Secretary for the Selma Fire Department, said members of the department will be in front of both entrances of the Walmart store on Highland Avenue in Selma from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Saturday to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s “Fill the Boot” annual campaign.

Irwin said 2012 was the best year the department has had since they began participating in the annual fundraising event, bringing in $5,884.30, and is hoping for even better results this year.

“It won’t be easy, but we’re trying to top that this year,” Irwin said.

Selma Fire Chief Michael Stokes said the importance of the national relationship between fire departments and the Muscular Dystrophy Association cannot be overestimated.

“Muscular dystrophy affects so many people,” Stokes said. “It affects so many children.”

Stokes said since he became chief in 2009, he has been amazed by the way the Selma community has consistently turned out to support the cause.

“People come looking for us,” Stokes said. “They will tell me they have been saving their coins for days or weeks just to donate.”

This Saturday will be the fifth time firefighters will be out this year to raise money for MDA, and the following Sunday, August 17, will be the last time the SFD members will be out collecting donations this year.

Through the first three “Fill the Boot” stops this year, the department has raised $2,348.44, almost exactly half of last year’s total, meaning they are still on pace to meet or exceed that amount.

Irwin added that there is a common and unfortunate misconception some may have heard about where their donations go after they are dropped in the firefighter’s boots.

“It really is a great cause,” Irwin said. “And every single penny goes directly to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.”

Stokes said that if someone is unable to stop by Wal-Mart either of the next two Saturday’s, donations to the MDA can be dropped off at the Selma Fire Department yearround.

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