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Firefighters fill the boot for MDA at Hodag

RHINELANDER, Wis. (WXPR) -- Firefighters in several communities raise money to support kids with muscular dystrophy with the “Fill the Boot” campaign. For the sixth year in a row, Rhinelander firefighters are collecting money during Hodag Country Fest weekend, which brings thousands of extra visitors to the community. Firefighters are in the intersection as cars, trucks, and campers arrive, and as visitors shop in Rhinelander over the weekend.

Rhinelander Fire Lieutenant Aaron Swaney says it’s a unique way to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  “Believe it or not, everyone’s happy, they say thank you for doing this. So it means a lot to us, and obviously the cause is a great way to help some of these children.”

The department is hoping to raise more than 12-thousand dollars by the end of the day on Saturday thanks to the extra traffic generated by festival goers.

Miranda Knudson of the Muscular Dystrophy Association office in Green Bay says all the money raised in Rhinelander goes towards helping families in Oneida County.  “We have about 19 families in Oneida County that will be directly supported. This department is great, they have a great intersection, a lot of traffic with the Hodag festival, everyone’s coming through with their campers. It’s a lot of fun.”

She says the money goes towards expenses and quality of life improvements, like sending the kids to summer camp.