Fred Cooper's daughter, Kelly, has muscular dystrophy, but because of funds raised by Fairfax County Firefighters, a new medication has been able to help her fight the disease. "She's loving life, and she's loving life largely because of you," Cooper told a group of firefighters on Aug. 30.
The firefighters, along with staff from the Muscular Dystrophy Association and local political leaders, came to Station 30 on Lee Highway in Merrifield to start the annual Fill the Boot fund-raiser.
Firefighters will be blanketing Fairfax County this weekend in an effort to raise money for MDA. Firefighters will stand on street corners from Sept. 3-6, asking residents to donate.
"The Fairfax County Fire Department is the single largest donator in Northern Virginia," said Stacey Williams of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The department has raised over $1 million for the Association over the past five years.
Fairfax has also been the top fund-raiser among fire departments nationwide, said Ron Kuley, national director of the International Association of Firefighters in their partnership with the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Station 30 raised $30,000 last year, the top station in the county. Also present were firefighters from Station 18 in Falls Church, which raised the second most in the county last year, $18,000.
"The work 18 and 30 and all of our other firefighters do is heroic stuff," said Board of Supervisors chair Gerry Connolly. "Doing what you are doing for MDA is another critical part of the mission."