No matter which city you drive through during Labor Day weekend, you’ll likely be able to spot firefighters filling boots with donations.
Every year since 1954 firefighters across the county have taken to the streets to collect donations for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Ardmore Firefighters collected $8,733 from Thursday to Saturday during the holiday weekend this year.
“The firefighters of Ardmore Fire Department have once again gone above and beyond for MDA’s families during this year’s Fill the Boot campaign,” said MDA Rep, Nikki Garcia. “We areso grateful for their dedication and for the generosity of those in the Ardmore community who have helped to raise critical funds to help transform the lives of kids and adults with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related muscle-debilitating diseases.”
One hundred percent of the proceeds go to MDA, which helps fund further research and provides vital resources to those suffering from sometimes   fatal degenerative muscular diseases— impacts which the Ardmore Fire Department has seen first hand.  
Ardmore Fire Department shift commander Scott Richards said two fire department families have been affected by degenerative muscular diseases.
One firefighter recently had to retire due to the disease, Richards said. And although he is well now, his muscular disease is hereditary, meaning that his child has now begun suffering from the disease as well.
“I know that the Muscular Dystrophy Association is a great help to that family in providing them with information and advocacy through their doctor’s offices and they’ll even provide you with different kinds of medical equipment and things like that so that you don’t have to purchase it,” Richards said.
Richards, who has been participating in the Fill the Boot Campaign for 30 years now, said he has seen people drop anywhere from $20 bills to $100 bills in the boots. However, any amount helps.
“Every bit of that money came from people pulling up to the stop light and dropping a dollar or two. Even just emptying out their change in their car into our boots,” Richards said.

The Ardmore Fire Department had around nine firefighters out collecting money each day this year, Richards said. And although it can get hot being out on the street corners, many of the firefighters enjoy the chance to interact with the community.

“It’s always really hot so we appreciate the firefighters participating,” Richards said. “The public is generally very gracious to us. And it’s always fun interacting with the people. It’s a lot of fun to go out there and we don’t pressure anybody, we’re not going to stare at you uncomfortably or anything like that.”