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Firefighters Raise Big Bucks for MDA

In just eight hours, members of the Westport Fire Department raised $3,333 on Saturday during their one-day "Fill The Boot For MDA" campaign, said firefighter Earl Hill, this year's campaign coordinator.

"Our goal was to raise $4,000," Hill said. "And although we fell short of the $3,600 we raised last year, we're happy with what we got. Raising $3,333 is pretty good for one day, and we definitely appreciate anything we get."

The nationwide fundraising event is held annually the weekend before the Jerry Lewis Labor Day telethon against Muscular Dystrophy. All the money raised from the "Fill The Boot For MDA" campaign goes to the Muscular Dystrophy Association in search of a cure.

Westport firefighters will present the association with a check during the telethon at 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 6, Hill said.

From 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, about 15 off-duty firefighters spread out by the entrance to Compo Beach, holding out boots. Though many fire departments conduct their campaigns in the streets, Hill said they held their campaign at Compo Beach because it's a prime location in town, especially this time of year.

"I figured a lot of people would be going to the beach before school starts," Hill said. "Plus, we don't have to worry about tying up traffic there."

Though the department didn't reach its fundraising goal, Hill said, "there's still time to make it up" before the telethon.

"Maybe after people read [this] article, they'll feel the urge to drop by and give," Hill said. "Either way, we had a good time, and we feel we did a good job."

Starting Sunday night and continuing on through Monday afternoon, the telethon is broadcast on FOX 61 in Connecticut.

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