To the Editor:
For over 30 years, during Labor Day Weekend, the men and women of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, in conjunction with the Fairfax County Professional FireFighters and Paramedics - IAFF Local 2068 and the personnel in the Department of Public Safety Communications, have collected for the Greater Washington Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) during the Fill the Boot Campaign.
The 2016 campaign was special in a number of ways, but, most notably the amount collected. Thanks to the generosity of the citizens, visitors and employees of Fairfax County, we were able to collect an astounding $521,509.05. One hundred percent of that money goes to the Greater Washington MDA, who uses it to fund such things as neuromuscular research at Georgetown University and National Institutes of Health, a loaner closet of durable medical goods and the annual summer camp in southern Maryland where children affected with the 43 neuromuscular diseases that MDA serves can enjoy a week doing "normal" summer camp activities specially tailored to their particular disability and physical need — all at no cost to the families.
This year’s campaign was also remarkable because, after the typical Labor Day Weekend street side campaign was complete, firefighters noted that we were only $3,500 away from topping the Dallas, Texas Fire Department and claiming the crown for the highest raising Fill the Boot campaign in the United States and Canada for 2016. In a week-long social media campaign, members of Local 2068 not only erased that deficit, but collected an additional $2,200 to secure Fairfax County as number one in North America.
Again, many thanks to the citizens, visitors and employees of Fairfax County.
Master Technician Joel Kobersteen
Fire Station 40, Fairfax Center, B-Shift