Dedicated firefighters from Rock Island International Association of Firefighters Local 26 will hit the streets this weekend with boots in hand.

They are asking pedestrians, motorists, customers and other passersby to donate to the Muscular Dystrophy Association for the annual “Fill the Boot” fundraising campaign.

Firefighters will be at the intersection of 18th Avenue and 30th Street on Friday, Oct. 13 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, Oct. 14 and Sunday, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Rock Island firefighters raised more than $15,000 for MDA in 2022 and since 2011, a total of $151,700 has been raised, according to a city release Friday.

Funds raised by Rock Island IAFF Local 26 are used to support many services provided by MDA including: 14,400 individuals living with Muscular Dystrophy in Iowa and Illinois; MDA summer camp and recreational programs in Monticello, Iowa and Hudson, Ill.; more than 4,000 clinic visits to 10 MDA care centers in Iowa and Illinois; and $2 million invested in research in both Iowa and Illinois.

Justin Welvaert, a Rock Island firefighter and executive trustee with Rock Island Firefighters Local 26, became the MDA event coordinator in 2011.

Welvaert said in the release that he has seen the impact firsthand that funds from the annual IAFF Local 26 Fill the Boot fundraiser has made for children with muscular dystrophy.

“Our union members are given the opportunity to attend MDA summer camp on VIP day each year,” Welvaert said. “Getting to see children from our community experience summer camp was eye-opening and heartwarming. These children who have challenges with everyday life get to experience what other children enjoy daily while making new friends.”

For more information on the IAFF Fill the Boot campaign, click HERE.