Elmwood Park firefighters raise funds for muscular dystrophy research

Between answering emergency calls last Thursday, Elmwood Park firefighters made sure they kept one boot on the street and raised $1,000 for muscular dystrophy research.

Firefighters walked the medians of North and Harlem avenues encouraging pedestrians and motorists to Fill The Boot with a monetary donation.

Derek DeRose, a nine-year veteran, who has organized the fundraising event for the past four years, said the North and Harlem intersection is the best place for collecting cash.

“Some of them [donors] are pretty appreciative,” he said. “We get donations from as little as a quarter to 20 bucks.”

At times some of the firefighters who were soliciting had to leave to make sure there were enough people at the village’s two fire stations when other firefighters were responding to an emergency call. They would later return to help out.

“It was a constant flow of people donating money,” he said.

All of the money collected will go to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

“Whatever money we get helps send them to [summer] camp or to buy a special chair to help them get around or if they need a special instrument to help them get through the day.”

Elmwood Park Firefighter Kevin Ferraro walked between stopped cars heading east on North Avenue. He handed a sticker to those who donated and said the time spent on the street soliciting donations is what being a firefighter is all about.

“It’s part of the job, giving back,” he said.

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