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Members of the Henry County Volunteer Fire Association will hold the annual Fill-A-Boot Campaign during the Labor Day weekend.

For several years, volunteer fire departments across the United States, including the Henry County Volunteer Fire Association, have participated in the Fill-A-Boot Campaign. Funds raised during the campaign benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Donations are collected in a fire boot.

This year, the association is participating in the annual Fill-A-Boot Campaign to not only help the children affected by Muscular Dystrophy but to also honor fellow firefighters.

“This year we are participating in this campaign as a way of honoring Wally Howerton and our late brother Johnny Feggin,” said Henry County Volunteer Fire Association President Huey Jones. “Wally is suffering from colon cancer and other health related issues, and he was the one who actually brought this campaign to our attention several years ago. You could say he got the ball rolling with the association collecting funds to benefit the MDA. Earlier this year we lost a very dear fellow firefighter and he also assisted in this campaign every year until his health wouldn’t allow him to help. For years, these two men assisted with this campaign and this campaign meant a lot to Johnny and it still means a lot to Wally and this is our way of thanking them both for their dedicated service to helping the children.”

Collection spots will be set up through Saturday.

“Saturday we will target multiple main intersections in the Screamer area,” Jones said. “Motorists visiting these areas will be greeted by local volunteer firefighters asking for donations. All donations will be dropped in the firefighter's boot. Usually during the Labor Day weekend, everyone enjoys spending time at the lake, so what better way to reach out to the community for support? For the past seven years we have participated in this event, and each year we are amazed at just how much support we receive.”

Intersections targeted for donations include County Road 48 and County Road 93, County Road 93 and County Road 57, and County Road 97 and County Road 46.

“We are thrilled to be working with the Henry County Volunteer Fire Fighters Association for another year,” said MDA Business Director Angie Jordin. “The dedication of these fire fighters to MDA’s mission is unwavering. We know that their devotion to our families will make this year’s drive a success.”

According to Jones, during the last seven years the association has raised more than $33,500.

“Funds raised during the Fill-A-Boot Campaign go to children for such things as summer camps, therapy sessions, support groups, medical treatment, shots, and clinic visits,” Jones said. “Roughly each year we raise around $5,500. That’s something our volunteers, their family members and our supporters should be commended for. Last year we had approximately 45 volunteers out collecting donations. To us, helping someone else is what our lives are all about.”

Jones believes all children need to enjoy life.

“We participate in this event every year because there is a need,” Jones said. “Every child deserves and needs to enjoy life. We hope to one day have a cure for Muscular Dystrophy, but until then, not only can the donations assist with research, they can help a child enjoy participating in summer camps. I am blessed to have a healthy child and I believe it is important to support organizations that help the children who are healthy. Every child is important and every child should have the opportunity to enjoy life. That’s why we participate. We want to help make a difference in the life a child. ”

Jones urges all motorists traveling in the designated areas to drive slow and pay extra attention to firefighters collecting donations.

“This event is held every year, and each year the participation grows,” Jones said. “We know everyone is in a hurry to enjoy the last official holiday of the summer, but please slow down and watch out for volunteers taking up donations. Remember, this event is held to help the children.”

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Follow Michele Forehand on Twitter @micheleforehan1

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