Fill-the-Boot drive in Austin - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Sonia Talati

Fill-the-Boot drive in Austin


AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC) -- Firefighters were out on two intersections with not hoses, but their token boots in their hands. Driver's halted a little longer than usual in Austin to stick their hands into a firefighter's boot. Contributor Jack Wittkopp said that "It was half full. It was just a matter of thirty seconds and it was all taken care of and I felt very good about."

 All the support was to help raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, one that has relied on this fundraiser for 55 years. MDA Fundraiser Coordinator, Rose Donough, expressed that the "support from the firefighters is a tremendous support and they have been a partner of ours for years".

It may be a small department, but the Austin Fire Department is the top five in raising money for this fundraiser. Firefighter Tim Olson said that "last year, we had to get new boots, we had to get new boots."

It is a tradition that started 55 years ago, when two firefighters had muscular dystrophy. Today, 'Fill the Boots' is a nationwide campaign. Olson emphasized, "Millions of people and tens of millions if not more worldwide. There are people in our area inflicted with it, that have to live with it, and if we can do anything to help with it, no matter how small that is, I think it is worthy to do." And drivers are unhesitant to drop big change into the boots.

As for the traffic created, well, cars are supposed to stop anyway. As Olson said, "They are supposed to stop anyway. They are at the stop sign and if they want to give, we are not going to stop out into traffic to do that."

The firefighters will be out on selected two intersections from 3-7 p.m. until this Friday.







The bright red shirts are hard to miss.

Firefighters will be on the streets of Austin from 3-7 p.m. through Friday.

Reporting live, this is Sonia Talati, KTTC Newscenter.

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