Craig Fire/Rescue raises nearly $7,000 at its Fill the Boot campaign | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig Fire/Rescue raises nearly $7,000 at its Fill the Boot campaign

Danielle Elkins

Craig Fire/Rescue Battalion Chief Troy Hampton hangs out with his nephew Jeremiah Price, who has muscular dystrophy, on Labor Day during the annual Fill the Boot campaign.

If you were driving through Craig recently and happened to catch a glimpse of a group of firefighters out on the street collecting money in boots, you may have wondered what they were doing.

The firefighters were raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association through their annual participation in the Fill the Boot campaign.

This was Craig Fire/Rescue's best year yet in raising money through the campaign, according to a press release.

"I just wish we could reach out and thank every person who donated. The money raised goes to helping children with MDA. I've been doing this for about nine or 10 years and we usually average around $5,000 to $5,500 but this year we raised $6,761.46," said Craig Fire/Rescue Battalion Chief Troy Hampton.

According to MDA's website, the Fill the Boot campaign is an honored tradition in which thousands of firefighters take to the streets or storefronts asking pedestrians, motorists and passersby to make donations to MDA.

Hampton said that about 14 firefighters from Craig Fire/Rescue, as well as some of their spouses and board members, stood out on two intersections — Yampa Avenue and Victory Way, and Fourth and Yampa — for the greater part of Labor Day, boots in hand, spreading awareness and collecting donations for MDA.

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MDA's website states that for more than 60 years the International Association of Fire Fighters has worked with MDA to help free individuals from the harm of muscle-debilitating diseases that take away their independence.

Donations raised from the campaign aid in funding MDA's efforts to find research breakthroughs, care for children and adults from day one of muscular dystrophy and other muscle-debilitating diseases, and empower families with services and support in hometowns across the United States, according to the organization's website.

MDA's website states that in 2015 alone, more than 100,000 firefighters participated in Fill the Boot events across the country, raising $25.5 million.

Firefighter Shane Sperry — who has been participating in the Fill the Boot campaign for several years — said, "I enjoy doing this fundraiser because it's one way for me to give back to MDA. I have a family member who benefited from MDA as a child so for his sake, and others like him, I like to participate every year."

Reach Danielle Elkins at 276-210-8851 or delki003@odu.edu.Reach Danielle Elkins at 276-210-8851 or delki003@odu.edu.Reach Danielle Elkins at 276-210-8851 or delki003@odu.edu.