They used to call them 'Jerry's KIds', the children affected by the many kinds of muscular dystrophy, but the fundraising goes on to help treat the diseases and find a cure. 

On Saturday, firefighters with the Missoula City and Missoula Rural  departments were on the Madison, Orange, and Higgins Street bridges collecting money for the MDA. Firefighter Mike Birnbaum said the Fill the Boot campaign is a labor of love.

"Every year, once a year we take over the streets, we've got all the main bridges, so Madison, Higgins and Orange, and then our brothers-in-arms at Missoula Rural are over on Reserve collecting money for muscular dystrophy," Birnbaum said."I believe it's the 65th year that this tradition has been going strong and it's the number one fundraiser for muscular dystrophy, and it's a union-specific event that we all try to rally around. Last year, we raised around $24,000."

Birnbaum said 18 firefighters from Missoula City and an equal number from Missoula Rural were out 'filling the boot' to help children with the devastating disease. They were on the bridges starting at 8:00 a.m. till 5:30 p.m.

"People can drive up and give as little, or as much as they want," he said, while a loud truck went by, "or they can just use the other lane, like that guy," he laughed."It's a neat cause, and people are great about it."


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