Firefighters 'Fill the Boot' for Muscular Dystrophy Association
Beaverton middle-schooler Jordyn Valdez is MDA's Goodwill Ambassador.
Last year, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue firefighters broke a state record by raising $63,000 with their annual Fill the Boot fundraiser supporting the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Thirteen-year-old Jordyn Valdez is doing her part to help local firefighters union members once again raise money and awareness for those like her who are impacted by the disease.
I like being able to help, and helping people realize its a good cause theyre raising money for, Jordyn said Tuesday during a media event at TVF&Rs Station 66 on Southwest Brockman Avenue to kick off next weeks donation drive.
Jordyn, an outgoing eighth-grader at Beavertons Five Oaks Middle School, is the 2016 MDA Goodwill Ambassador for Oregon and Southwest Washington. Shes already an expert at her role, having served in a similar capacity in 2011-12 while living in Hawaii.
This is really important for us to be involved in, said Ryan Schenk, one of two TVF&R firefighter-paramedics organizing the fundraiser, which will involve many of his fellow firefighters from across the district.
Its pretty cool to see the community pull together, said Trevor Nowak, the other organizer.
They could be spending their time doing all sorts of other things, said Jordyn, who will go to Tigard High School next year, following a family move. Its really great.
This years Fill the Boot campaign inside TVF&Rs service area includes the following drive-by donation events, all open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.:
Monday, May 16: At the Highway 217 ramp signals at Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway in Beaverton
Tuesday, May 17: At Wilsonville Road near Interstate 5 (near Fred Meyer) in Wilsonville
Saturday, May 21: At Bridgeport and Boones Ferry road intersections with Interstate 5 near Bridgeport Village (plus a donation booth that day in the shopping center)
Donations also may be made online.
Nationally, International Association of Fire Fighters union chapters participating in Fill the Boot campaigns have collected $558 million since the campaign first launched in the 1950s. Donations dropped into TVF&R firefighters boots have accounted for $563,000 over the past decade.
The money supports MDAs support services for patients and their families, including support groups, clinics, medical equipment and other costs. The funds also support research into muscular dystrophy and ALS and pays for a free week of summer camp this July near Salem, according to Elizabeth Squires, MDAs associate executive director in the region.
The summer camp is Jordyns favorite MDA beneficiary.
Having MD is really hard, she said. Whats great about summer camp is theres a lot of kids like me there.
Nobody (at camp) really talks about what you cant do, added Jordyn, whose camp activities have included games of Capture the Flag and arts and crafts, among many others offered during the five-day camp. Its what you can do thats important.
By Eric Apalategui
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