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Red Wing citizens help 'Fill the Boot'

Red Wing residents and visitors helped local firefighters fill their boots with donations last week.

The department raised more than $12,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association during the Fill the Boot fundraiser Aug. 27 to 29.

"We just want to thank the citizens for being extra generous this year," Red Wing firefighter and local coordinator Matt Lenz said.

This is the second year the department has participated in Fill the Boot, though the national program has been going on for years. Local off-duty firefighters stood at corners and intersections throughout Red Wing during the three days gathering donations from drivers.

About 16 firefighters donated their time.

Lenz said the firefighters had set of a goal of raising $12,000, so they were happy to find out they exceeded that. They raised $12,064.80, a significant increase over last year's inaugural event that brought in $7,735.

"People seemed to be more informed about it (this year)," Lenz said. "I think we were able to get more people donating."

Firefighters across the country work with the MDA through the International Association of Fire Fighters, a partnership that started in 1954.

Funds raised go toward services such as support groups, health care, equipment, summer camp and research to help families affected by muscular dystrophy.

The firefighters met one such family this year, Lenz said, and "it was good seeing what the citizens' money is going to do."

Lenz said the firefighters hope to keep Fill the Boot an annual event in Red Wing, "as long as we keep getting the citizens' help."

Danielle Killey

Danielle Killey covers local government for the South Washington County Bulletin. She has worked as a reporter for other Forum Communications newspapers since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.

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