Fairfax County firefighters and paramedics raised $568,634.89 to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) over Labor Day Weekend during its annual Fill the Boot campaign.
This year, the Fairfax County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics - International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Local 2068 raised the most ever in its 58-year partnership with MDA, said IAFF Local 2068 Communications Director Joel Kobersteen.
Local 2068 members also raised the most money in the nationwide campaign this year, said Kobersteen, who also coordinates the Fairfax County Labor Day Weekend Fill the Boot Campaign.
"This is the third time in six years that we’ve been number one," he said.
In 2011, Local 2068 ranked third in the nation, with about $435,000 raised for the Greater Washington MDA.
Fairfax Center Fire Station at 4621 Legato Road in Fairfax raised the most money this year, with more than $47,000 over the four days.
The Oakton station raised $11,427.16 this year — a significant increase from recent years. Last year, Oakton Station 34, at 10511 Rosehaven Street, raised $6,404.87, a decrease of more than $1,000 from 2011 but still up by about $2,000 from 2010's collection.
Proceeds help support MDA services and research programs in the Washington, D.C. area, including MDA's annual camp for kids affected by neuromuscular disease and outpatient clinics at Children’s National Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital for people effected by the more than 40 neuromuscular diseases.
Kobersteen said the campaign’s success would not have been possible without the countywide support he and his colleagues received.
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova attended last week's campaign kick-off event at Franconia the Franconia station, which raised the most money per capita during this year's campaign.
"She recognizes the fact that this is a fantastic campaign, a fantastic cause," he said. "It's just become tradition. It's become what we do."
And Kobersteen said it meant a lot that Fairfax County residents also recognized the importance of the cause, especially during tough economic times.
"None of this at all would have been possible without the citizens embracing us and embracing the cause," he said. "You can stand on a street corner all day long but if the citizens don't roll down their window, you’re not going to collect a cent."