Firefighters from across the Alberni Valley will be asking the public to help fill their empty boots and helmets next weekend during the annual Muscular Dystrophy “Fill the Boot” campaign.
Firefighters from Port Alberni, Beaver Creek, Cherry Creek and Sproat Lake fire departments are all participating in the annual drive, taking place this year on Friday, Sept. 16 and Saturday, Sept. 17.
Muscular dystrophies are a group of muscle diseases that cause weakness and decreased mobility. Firefighters from across Canada have been fundraising for Muscular Dystrophy Canada for more than 65 years: funds raised from the Fill the Boot campaign assist families of people with MD and support research projects as well. Alberni Valley firefighters have been participating in the annual drive for more than 50 years.
“We’re carrying on the tradition,” said Anthony Selva of Port Alberni Fire Department, one of the local organizers of the Fill the Boot campaign.
Firefighters in the Alberni Valley raised $11,000 in 2021, after taking a pause in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and accompanying restrictions. “It was our best year ever last year,” Selva said. “People were really generous.”
Firefighters will be out in force on Friday, Sept. 16 from 6–9 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in front of Quality Foods, Shoppers Drug Mart, Save-On-Foods, B.C. Liquor Store on 10th Avenue, the Co-op Liquor Store on lower Johnston Road, Tyler’s No Frills and Buy-Low Foods.