Elmwood Park firefighters raising charity cash at North and Harlem Thursday

In this photo from 2008, Elmwood Park Paramedics and firefighters, Mark Carlson and Lt. Mike Tully, collect money in fire boots for Muscular Dystrophy, on the corner of North Ave and Harlem Ave, in Elmwood Park during a past "Fill the Boot" campaign. | Sun-Times Media File

Elmwood Park firefighters will be out on North Avenue this week asking pedestrians and drivers to put a little money in a giant rubber boot.

The firefighters will be out most of the day Thursday as part of the department’s “Fill the Boot” fundraising campaign for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Firefighters will walk along North Avenue at Harlem Avenue asking people for donations.

Last year, firefighters raised about $2,000, and they hope they’ll be able to get that much or better this time around. They may extend the fundraising event to more than one day if possible.

Elmwood Park Fire Chief Michael Ventura said he, along with former chief Michael Marino, started the fundraising event back in the 1980s. He’s happy that the tradition is still going strong.

“I’m very proud of them,” he said. “When it comes to helping people, [firefighters] are very passionate about it and don’t hesitate to help out.”

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