The Cape Coral Professional Firefighters Local 2424 will hit the streets Friday and over the weekend for the annual Fill the Boot fund-raiser.
Cape firefighters will be set up at 10 intersections throughout the city to collect donations from the public for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Brendan Fonock, president of Local 2424, explained that the union has partnered with the MDA for more than 50 years to help raise funds.
"We're going to work with them to 'Fill the Boot' year after year, until we find a cure," he said. "Our main focus is on the children."
The MDA is the non-profit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The MDA also covers health care and support services, advocacy and education.
The MDA serves more than 500 individuals in Southwest Florida.
Fill the Boot intersections
Veterans Parkway and Santa Barbara
Cape Coral Parkway and Del Prado
Del Prado Boulevard and Pine Island Road
Del Prado Boulevard and Hancock Bridge
Del Prado Boulevard and Veterans Parkway
Chiquita Boulevard and Cape Coral Parkway
Diplomat Parkway and Del Prado Boulevard
Pine Island Road and Nicholas Parkway
Pine Island Road and Burnt Store Road
Del Prado Boulevard and Kismet Parkway
Fonock explained that the firefighters will be on duty during the fund-raiser.
"They'll be available for calls," he said. "If a call comes in, they'll pick up their stuff and respond."
Last year was the first time they hosted Fill the Boot while on call.
"We had worked hard with the city to convince them to allow us to do it," Fonock said. "The more people we can put in different locations throughout the city, the more money we can give to the MDA."
He added there were no problems in service last year.
"There was great feedback from the community," Fonock said.
At each intersection, fire crews will carry around fire boots.
"When there's a red light, the firefighters will enter the intersection carrying a boot," he said, which the public can drop donations into.
"Anyone counts - whether it's a handful of change or a $20 bill. It all adds up," Fonock said. "That's our goal - to fill those things up to the top."
Last year, Local 2424 raised just short of $31,000.
"Last year, that was the most we had ever raised," he said. "This year, we set a goal of $35,000. Obviously, every year, we try to improve on our goal."
Fonock thanked the city's residents and visitors in advance.
"Like everyone else, the MDA is struggling with the economy, but the need is still there," he said. "Every last cent will go toward the MDA."
On Tuesday, Cape Mayor John Sullivan proclaimed March as Cape Coral Firefighter Appreciation Month. He delivered the proclamation at City Hall.
"It's important because this is a very good group that are collecting monies and funding to help people who are in need," he said.
"They've collected a lot of money for the MDA. They've done such a fine job," Sullivan said. "They deserve some recognition."
For information about Fill the Boot or the MDA, visit: www.mda.org.