It's Labor Day weekend, which means it's time for the annual telethon to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
And just like they've done each year, Shawnee firefighters, with boots in hand, asked residents to "Fill the Boot" to benefit MDA. That drive was held in May and Chip Sheppard, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local No. 206, presented about $8,100 to Andrea Pope of MDA on Friday.
Sheppard, who said many residents often ask where that money goes, said it all goes to MDA.
"The Shawnee Fire Department does not get a penny," he said." Everything is for MDA."
Some of the funds are used to help families of children with muscular-related conditions, he said, as well as sending children to camp.
"With the help of citizens of Pottawatomie County," Sheppard said, more than $8,000 was raised for 2013.
That's close to last year's total. In 2012, $8,974 was collected by Shawnee fire crews. In previous years, total were: 2011, $4,879; 2010, $5,972; 2009, $6,041; and in 2008, $7,761 was collected.
Sheppard said fire departments are the largest contributors to MDA, with fire crews all over the nation asking residents to fill their boots with change and cash each year.
Pope, who said Oklahoma firefighters in central and western Oklahoma raise about $500,000 each year for MDA, said their efforts help families in a big way, and also contribute to helping children see specialists at the MDA clinic. Funds also are used to send children to summer camp and funds help provides families with the use of medical-related equipment.
"It's pretty amazing," Pope said.
The annual MDA telethon will be aired 8 to 10 p.m. Sunday night on ABC.