During Labor Day weekend, Dawson County Emergency Services members conducted their annual Fill the Boot fundraiser to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), an organization that aids in finding cures and treatments for muscle debilitating diseases like Muscular Dystrophy and ALS.
The drive raised a little more than $10,000 for the MDA to help provide life-enhancing resources and support to children and adults with muscular dystrophy and other muscular diseases.
On Sept. 27, Dawson EMS presented a check in that amount to Gabriel Broes, a local 10-year-old with muscular dystrophy, who then gave the check to MDA to help further their services and help them find a cure for muscle debilitating diseases.
Broes' mother Shelly Teems, father Sal Broes and little sister Sophia were present when the Fill the Boot proceeds were donated to MDA representatives.
Along with funding the MDA's many projects, events and services, the money will also go towards Broes attending next year's MDA summer camp at Camp Twin Lakes.
"He's been to the camp twice, and he looks forward to it all year," said Sal Broes. "MDA does such great events and really helps Gabe out a lot."
Gabe's mother said the energetic Robinson Elementary School fifth grader is a big fan of baseball and dancing.
"He's an awesome kid," said Teems. "He doesn't let it affect him."
Indeed, shortly after taking a ride in one of the fire station engines with his sister, Gabe broke out into a choreographed dance.
Both parents said that they really appreciate all of the work that the MDA does for their child and family, and what they do for other children and families too.
Abby Ruffner, fundraising coordinator for the MDA, said that she is grateful for the Dawson EMS because of all the work they have done in partnership with the organization.
"For more than six decades, firefighters have fueled MDA's mission to find treatments and cures for muscle-debilitating diseases, and this year's Dawson County Fill the Boot results are perfect example of their dedication," said Ruffner. "We are extremely grateful to have the support of these truly selfless heroes, as well as the entire Dawson County community."
EMS Chief Lanier Swafford said he wanted to stress that the emergency personnel in Dawson County weren't the ones that donated the money, and said any praise should go to the generous people in the community.
"We just stand there with the boot," Swafford said. "It's the generosity of others that makes this drive successful every year."