FIREFIGHTERS usually keep their boots on their feet, but a national fundraising initiative is encouraging them to fill them with cash instead.
The inaugural Fill The Boot Firefighter Relay is sweeping the country as each state clamours for the title of raising the most money to support children living with muscular dystrophy.
Queensland has a long way to go, coming a modest third with almost $45,000 raised overall before the boot even reaches our coast.
Caboolture Fire Station firefighter Lynton Flanagan said they would be doing their best to make sure Queensland came out on top.
"This is about helping families and to ensure children with muscular dystrophy have a better quality of life, while raising funds to help find a cure for this fatal disease," he said.
One boot will be passed between 34 stations over 11 days and 416kms. Caboolture firefighters passed the boot onto the Burpengary station by fire truck on Saturday, collecting donations along the way. If you missed the action, you can donate online at filltheboot.com.au.
While this is the first time this unique initiative has come to our shores, it has been an annual event in Canada and the US for more than 50 years with more than 280,000 firefighters raising funds for MD each year.
International comedian Jerry Lewis founded the relay and was instrumental in initiating the first Australian relay in association with Fire and Rescue NSW.
Muscular Dystrophy Foundation Australia aims to raise $1.5 million for research and support services for the 20,000 Australians, mostly children, who have a neuromuscular condition.
The most common of these conditions is Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which affects mostly boys who are diagnosed at about age 3 or 4.
It is a slow and progressive condition and by age 10 most boys struggle to walk, and by 16, they are having difficulty breathing.
The funds raised in each state will be combined and presented to the MDFA at the opening of the World Firefighters Games on October 19.
Where the money goes
- An unforgettable day at a fun-filled Muscular Dystrophy Camp $38.
- Send a volunteer to a neuromuscular research seminar to learn about the latest treatments $60.
- Provides counselling support for a family $150.
- A stimulating activity for eight young people at a Muscular Dystrophy Camp $250.
- A life-changing home support visit with follow-up $320.
- Subsidise an electric wheelchair and add years to a child's mobility $6000.