For the second year in a row, the Fairfax County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF 2068) collected the highest amount of donations for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) during “Fill the Boot” campaign over Labor Day weekend.Fairfax County collected a total of $602,580.14, beating the county's previous record-breaking total last year of $568,634.89.
This is the first year any agency has collected more than $600,000 for MDA, according to Joel Kobersteen, communications director for the IAFF 2068.
Kobersteen attributed the success of this year’s campaign partially to increased media exposure in addition to the hard work and dedication of the firefighters and the kindness of the residents who chose to donate.
“Every year, there’s all kinds of misinformation about what we’re collecting for. It was great to let people know we’re not collecting for politicians and really explain our cause,” said Kobersteen. “Also, the support of the Board of Supervisors and the police department helps. And of course, the citizens are a huge part of this because if they didn’t stop and give so generously, we wouldn't collect as much as we do.”
Firefighters collected donations for MDA from residents at intersections throughout Fairfax County over four days and during a 24-hour rotating shift schedule.
Many of the firefighters ended up working on what would have been their Labor Day break because of the way the shifts alternated this year, said Kobersteen. An additional day was added so that those firefighters would have an opportunity to collect donations for the campaign.Annandale's two volunteer fire stations raised more than $22,000 over Labor Day with Annandale Station 8 collecting $14,688.28 and West Annandale Station 23 collecting $7,914.93.
Edsall Road Station 26, located at 5316 Carolina Place in Springfield also raised $11,049.37.
Franconia Station 5, which collected $29,265.12, raised about $2,400 per person, which is the highest amount collected by a single station on a single shift and the highest per capita ever, said Kobersteen.
The Fairfax County Fire Department’s Public Safety and Communications staff (DPSC) raised $20,107.90 without hitting the streets.
“That’s kind of incredible because that money came directly out of their pockets,” said Kobersteen. “I can't say enough about how incredible it is that this $20,000 is coming from a limited number of people.”
In addition to the fire stations, the following IAFF 2068 affiliated groups collected donations:
- Clifton Days collected $234.81.
- The Fire Marshal’s Office (FMO) collected $5,004.40 over two days at the intersection of Lee Jackson Memorial Highway/Route 50 and Germantown Road in Fairfax.
- The Centreville Moose Lodge, where the IAFF 2068 holds union meetings, raised $290.76.
The 135th Recruits, or the fire and EMS students currently training to become firefighters, collected $6,053.05. Many of those recruits came in on their day off on Saturday to help collect donations at the intersection of Lee Highway/Route 29 and Monument Drive in Fairfax.
To view a full list of how much each Fairfax County fire station collected, visit www.fairfaxcares.com.