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Fill the Boot

Photos: motorists asked to Fill the Boot for MDA

By Howard B. Owens
fill the boot

City firefighters, Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 896 members, are positioned at strategic locations in Downtown Batavia today (Friday) until 2 p.m. collecting donations for Muscular Dystrophy Association as part of their annual Fill the Boot campaign.

Photos by Frank Capuano

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Annual Fill the Boot and year-round traveling boots to benefit MDA

By Press Release

Press Release

City of Batavia Firefighters IAFF Local 896 is happy to announce the
return of our Fill the Boot campaign for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

After a two-year break due to COVID we are bringing back our annual boot drive this year. On Friday, June 17, 2022, from 8:30 a.m. through 1:30 p.m. our Local 896 members will once again be out in the areas of Court Street and Main Street as well as Court Street and Ellicott Street to collect donations for the MDA.

The second part of our Fill the Boot campaign is our traveling boots. IAFF Local 896 has partnered with businesses throughout the City of Batavia to host a collection boot so that donations can be made throughout the year. Donations collected during our Fill the Boot campaign will support researching neuromuscular diseases such as ALS, muscular dystrophies, and other diseases.

Donations will also provide support for families affected by these diseases and opportunities for children affected to go to camps with other children.

Local 896 would like to thank everyone for the donations already received and for all future donations. Also a thank you to the local businesses such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Tops Friendly Markets, NAPA, Sherwin-Williams, and Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union who have already adopted a traveling boot for their location.

VIdeo: Batavia City Fire, IAFF Local 896, Fill the Boot

By Howard B. Owens
Video Sponsor
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Members of Batavia City Fire, IAFF Local 896, were at locations on Main Street and Ellicott Street in Downtown Batavia today for their annual Fill the Boot campaign to raise money for MDA.

This year, they raised more than $11,000 from thousands of small donations by residents passing by the firefighters with boots.

More than $9K raised by city firefighters in Fill the Boot campaign for MDA

By Billie Owens

From city fire and an MDA press release:

The Batavia City Firefighters IAFF Local 896 is proud to announce that the community raised $9,104.17 for the MDA, according to Firefighter Chris Morasco.

"That is the total for today’s boot drive combined with the 'traveling boots' that are always on display around town," he said.

The annual fundraising campaign helps kids and adults with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related muscle-debilitating diseases to live longer and grow stronger.

Continuing a more than 60-year tradition, dedicated fire fighters from Batavia City Firefighters IAFF Local 896 hit the streets or storefronts with boots in hand asking pedestrians, motorists, customers and other passersby to make a donation to MDA today at the intersections of Main Street (Route 5) and Court Street, and at Ellicott Street (Route 63) and Court Street.

"The dedication of these firefighters to MDA’s mission is unwavering, spending countless hours both with Fill the Boot and MDA Summer Camp to care for the kids and adults in the Buffalo and Greater Rochester Area," said MDA fundraising coordinator Alicia Sinicropi.

Funds raised through Buffalo and Greater Rochester Fill the Boot events in 2018 empower families who inspire everyday Americans to help kids and adults with Muscular dystrophy and related muscle-debilitating diseases live longer and grow stronger, displaying how we all can truly live unlimited no matter what limits we may face.

Contributions also help fund groundbreaking research and life-enhancing programs such as state-of-the-art support groups and Care Centers, including the MDA Care Center at Dent Neurologic Institute Amherst and Orchard Park, Buffalo General Medical Center and Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

They also help send more than 60 local kids to “the best week of the year” at MDA summer camp at Rotary Sunshine Campus – all at no cost to their families.

MDA and IAFF Partnership

As MDA’s largest national partner, the IAFF fuels MDA's mission to find research breakthroughs across diseases; care for kids and adults from day one; and provide families with services and support.

IAFF support for MDA began in 1954 when the organization committed by proclamation to support MDA until a cure is found, and the organization's unwavering commitment to MDA has remained strong to this day. The IAFF raised $100,000 for MDA in 1955, and $1 million in 1970, and fire fighters continue to raise the bar in their fundraising efforts. In 2017, more than100,000 fire fighters participated in Fill the Boot events across the country and raised $24 million. To date the IAFF has raised $630 million for MDA.

About the IAFF
The International Association of Fire Fighters represents more than 300,000 professional fire fighters and paramedics who protect 85 percent of the nation’s population. More than 3,200 affiliates and their members protect communities in every state in the United States and in Canada.

About MDA
MDA is leading the fight to free individuals — and the families who love them — from the harm of muscular dystrophy, ALS and related muscle-debilitating diseases that take away physical strength, independence and life. We use our collective strength to help kids and adults live longer and grow stronger by finding research breakthroughs across diseases; caring for individuals from day one; and empowering families with services and support in hometowns across America.

Photos: City firefighters with boots out for annual MDA fundraiser

By Howard B. Owens


City of Batavia firefighters, IAFF Local 896, are downtown this morning with fire boots they're hoping passing motorists will help fill with cash.

The donations benefit MDA.This is their annual "Fill the Boot" fundraiser. They will be in the area of Ellicott, Court, and Main until 1 p.m.






City firefighters want you to Fill the Boot for MDA this Friday

By Billie Owens


Press release:

Members of the Batavia City Firefighters from IAFF Local 896 will fan out across the streets of Downtown Batavia with boots in hand on Friday.

This year's Fill the Boot drive for MDA is June 15th and it's organized by firefighter Chris Morasco.

“In 2017, we set out to break the $10,000 mark," he said. "Our members, with the help of our generous community were successful and able to raise $10,651 for the MDA! Look for us Friday!”

From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., city firefighters will be at the intersection of Main Street (Route 5) and Court Street AND at Ellicott Street (Route 63) and Court Street.

Photo: File Photo

Photos: Drivers through city help city firefighters 'fill the boot'

By Howard B. Owens


Members of the Batavia City Firefighters, IAFF Local 896, were on Ellicott Street and Main Street in Batavia today for their annual Fill the Boot campaign to benefit MDA.

UPDATE: The firefighters raised $10,651.52.

Photos by Frank Capuano.




Reminder: 'Fill the Boot' for MDA until 1:30 this afternoon on Court Street

By Billie Owens

You have until 1:30 p.m. today to make a difference in the annual Fill the Boot drive to raise funds to fight muscular dystrophy.

Batavia City firefighters from IAFF Local 896 are ready to take your money at Main Street and Court Street and at Ellicott Street and Court Street.

In 2015, they raised $7,523 for the MDA. This year, they hope to top the $10,000 mark.

City firefighters set up 'traveling boot' displays at local businesses to boost MDA fund raising

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Members of the City of Batavia Fire Department IAFF Local 896 pair up with the Muscular Dystrophy Association every June to participate in the annual Fill the Boot fundraising campaign to benefit children and adults with muscle disease throughout the Greater Rochester and Buffalo areas. Members volunteer their time to fan out on city streets with boots in hand to raise money from local traffic.

To help the MDA throughout the year, members have created several “traveling boot” displays. With approval from local businesses, these displays have been placed in various business locations throughout the city. The “traveling boot” will stay in one location for a short period of time, before moving to a new location.  Customers and patrons can place loose change and dollars in the boot and help raise money for the MDA. The first boots have been placed in Dunkin’ Donuts and Southside Deli.

Batavia’s Fill the Boot drive is organized by firefighters Chris Morasco and Mark Sacheli.

“The communities’ generosity as well as great participation from our members has continued to make this program a success. The 'traveling boots' are a way that we can give back to the MDA more than just one day a year. It is a great cause, and we look forward to a successful fundraising campaign for the 2016 year.”

Photos: Local firefighters set record with more than $9K collected in 'Fill the Boot' campaign

By Howard B. Owens

Today was the day to fill the boot and a lot of people did. City firefighters, members of IAFF Local 896, were positioned on Ellicott, Main, and Court streets this morning to collect donations from passing motorists as a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

It was another banner year for the firefighters with a new record amount of $9,635.39, according to Local President Greg Ireland.

Above, Adam Palumbo collects a donation.

Jeff Stevens collects a donation.

Firefighter Tim Stengel collects a donation.

City firefighters announce annual 'Fill the Boot' campaign for June 20

By Howard B. Owens

The annual "Fill the Boot" campaign comes to Batavia again Friday, June 20.

Off-duty City firefighters, members of IAFF Local 896, will position themselves on Ellicott, Court and Main and collect spare changes and donations from passing drivers.

This years cochairs for the event are Jeff Stevens, left, and Greg Ireland.

City firefighters have been participating in the fundraising event for MDA for 20 years.

Last year, they helped raised $8,500, which was a new record in donations locally.

Money collected benefits the children who are diagnosed with any of the more than 40 neuromuscular diseases that fall under the MDA umbrella, including ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Donations cover everything from wheelchairs to braces, physical therapy sessions to summer camps for those afflicted.

New donation record set for 'Fill the Boot' campaign to benefit MDA

By Howard B. Owens

Press release:

Firefighters took to the streets of Downtown Batavia to “Fill the Boot” for the Muscular Dystrophy Association on Friday, June 7, and raised $8,541 to help find treatments and cures for neuromuscular disease. 

Members of Local 896 of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) topped their annual fundraising pledge to support MDA’s vital research programs and the Associations 200 medical clinics nationwide.

“We deeply appreciate the work firefighters in the City of Batavia do for MDA,” said MDA Executive Director Sally Cramer. “It does make a difference to all the people and families here who are living with muscle disease. They see the firefighters going out to support them, and it tells them they have strong partners standing by their side.”

Firefighters continually put themselves at risk, whether it's battling a fire or rushing through traffic to help someone who has been injured. They have a sense of compassion for, and service to, the community that is demonstrated through their commitment to MDA.

“We like to help people, that’s who we are,” said Batavia Firefighters Local Union President Greg Ireland. “A huge thank you goes out to everyone who donated to the cause. Whether it was their spare change, a buck or a $10 dollar bill, it’s the generosity of those who helped Fill the Boot that really make a difference.”

IAFF became the first national sponsor for MDA in 1954, and over the years, firefighters have raised millions of dollars to help improve and enhance the lives of those living with neuromuscular disease. Funds from the Fill the Boot campaign also help send 3,500 kids to MDA summer camp for a free week of lighthearted fun with other kids who are just like them. Many firefighters become friends of the kids and their families, giving a week of their vacation time each year to go to camp and support their young friends.

Photo: By Howard Owens. Capt. Craig Williams collecting donations on Ellicott Street (photo taken this morning with the intention of posting this morning, but for some reason it didn't get published to the home page -- apologies to the firefighters).

City firefighters will try to 'Fill the Boot' for MDA on June 7

By Howard B. Owens

City firefighters, members of the International Association of Firefighters Local 896, will once again ask motorists at in the Court, Ellicott and Main street areas to "fill the boot" with donations to help fight Muscular Dystrophy.

The donations benefit MDA charities in WNY.

The "Fill the Boot" campaign is June 7.

Last year, the campaign collected $7,500 for MDA, which was a record for the annual campaign.

"We had a very successful boot drive in 2012," said Local 896 President Greg Ireland. "The guys are looking forward to hitting the streets again in an attempt to top last year’s total. We really appreciate the generosity of those that can give, whether it be their spare change, a dollar or even more."

Another record day in Batavia for the 'Fill the Boot' campaign for MDA

By Howard B. Owens

Batavia firefighters, members of IAFF Local 896, set a new record Friday for their annual "Fill the Boot" campaign.

According to Greg Ireland, Local 896 president, area residents drove through downtown today and donated $7,562.

Photos submitted by Frank Capuano.

Photo: Fill the Boot for MDA

By Howard B. Owens

Members of the Batavia City Fire Department are out on Main, Ellicott and Court streets today with boots collecting donations for "Jerry's Kids."

The annual "Fill the Boot" fundraiser is sponsored by the International Association of Firefighters and benefits the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

City firefighters will be on scene until 5 p.m.

If you can't make it by or prefer to make a donation with a credit card, click here.

City firefighters got their boots filled for MDA

By Howard B. Owens

Lori Ann Santini took these pictures today. She reports that it appears today's "Fill the Boot" campaign put on by the firefighters union was successful. The union raised money today for MDA.

Above is firefighter Jeff Stevens. 

Union president Greg Ireland and Captain Jay Steinbrenner.

Firefighter Tim Stengal.

UPDATE: Greg Ireland reports the fundraiser brought in $4,500.

"It's a bit shy of last year's total but it will still go a long way to help the kids. Local 896 wants to send a big THANK YOU to everyone who stopped and donated to this great cause."

Even as layoffs loom, fire union pushes forward with annual MDA fundraiser

By Howard B. Owens

At least for Friday, it's time for the community to come together and forget any disagreements over the soon-to-be-discontinued Batavia ambulance service, says Greg Ireland.

Friday is the 15th-annual "Fill the Boot" drive for MDA, a fundraiser sponsored by City of Batavia Firefighters IAFF Local 896.

Money collected during the fundraiser benefits children who are diagnosed with neuromuscular diseases. Donations cover the costs of everything from wheelchairs and braces to physical therapy, as well as summer camps.

"This year is as important as any to these kids," Ireland said in an e-mail. "There is no reason why our Union's disagreements with City Hall should get in the way of helping them. Sure there is a lot of tension around the Fire House right now with the impending layoffs, but that doesn't change the fact the the MDA needs our support."

Ireland said union members held a meeting recently and united around the need to ensure "Fill the Boot" came together again this year.

Off-duty members of Local 896, including firefighters and medics who will be out of work on Sept. 1, will be at the fundraiser at 1 Court St. on Friday.

Last year's "Fill the Boot" campaign set a record with $5,000 in donations.

"To me, the MDA is very important," Ireland wrote. "These kids have been sentenced to a life of pain and suffering for no apparent reason. If we can raise money to make their life easier in any way, it's worth it. For example, The MDA of Rochester has several day camps for the kids. I've visited there before, and to see the kids being kids, being able to do the things that normal children can do, it is really great. It gives them a day or two to just leave their illness behind and enjoy being a kid! It is quite touching to see."

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