Vail Valley firefighters to Fill the Boot for MDA this Labor Day weekend | VailDaily.com

Vail Valley firefighters to Fill the Boot for MDA this Labor Day weekend

Firefighters from all over the Vail Valley will be working all weekend to Fill the Boot for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. They'll be in front of retailers all over the valley from Gypsum to Vail.

EDWARDS — Vail Valley firefighters will join more than 6,000 of their Colorado colleagues during this weekend's Fill the Boot campaign.

The campaign has supported the Muscular Dystrophy Association around the country for more than 60 years. More than 100,000 firefighters participate nationwide.

Colorado's firefighters hope to raise $1.2 million through Labor Day weekend to provide support and services to local children and adults affected by muscular dystrophy, Lou Gehrig's disease and other muscle-debilitating diseases.

"This is a proud tradition with our fire department. It not only continues to raise more donations every year but increases the awareness of neuromuscular diseases that effect so many," said Bryan Nagle, with the Eagle River Fire Protection District.

Storefronts, not streets

Local firefighters will move off the street and onto sidewalks in front of retailers around the valley, after a Michigan firefighter died doing his Fill the Boot shift last year.

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Dennis Rodeman, a firefighter in Lansing, Michigan, was killed last Labor Day weekend by a motorist in a deliberate hit-and-run.

"We have been very fortunate to collect funds for MDA at store fronts," Nagle said.

Eagle River Fire Protection District and the International Association of Firefighters Local 4245 will be in front of retailers all across mid-valley through Monday at:

• Wal-Mart in Avon

• City Market in Avon

• Village Market in Edwards

• Starbucks in Edwards

• Beaver Creek Covered Bridge

Time to fight MD

Fire Marshal Randy Cohen said the Eagle fire department will kick off its Fill the Boot weekend on Friday by filling pint glasses at Eagle's 7 Hermits Brewing Co.

"All the sales of Gold Dust beer will be donated to MDA," Cohen said.

The 7 Hermits kickoff party runs from 5 to 10 p.m., Friday.

Eagle firefighters will be stationed in front of City Market in Eagle.

"Over the years, many of these local firefighters have become my friends, and it's obvious their hearts are in the right place," said Joe Akmakjian, MDA national ambassador and Fort Collins resident.

Fill the Boot helps the Muscular Dystrophy Association fund programs, support groups and care centers around the country, as well as MDA summer camp at Rocky Mountain Village, which is available at no cost to families.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.