By Allen Smith
Independence Daily Reporter – August 31, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 30, 2014
Just as they’ve done for over 30 years, members of the Independence division of the Montgomery County Rural Fire District No. 1 are continuing to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
“We’re helping raise funds to help fight muscular dystrophy,” said Bill Caflisch, chief of the Independence division, who said he has been helping raise funds for the past 28 Labor Day weekends.
“There are approximately 150 families in Montgomery County dealing with the effects of this disease, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a form of muscular dystrophy.”
The ALS awareness has been brought to the forefront by the overwhelming response to the ice bucket challenge that is sweeping the United States, and right here in Independence with members of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team, the Independence Fire Department and the Independence Police Department’s among the groups participating to raise funds. Students, faculty and staff at Independence Community College also got in on the challenge last week.
“Our goal is to raise $2,000,” Caflisch said Saturday of the annual “Fill the Boot” campaign. “That is about what we raised last year, maybe a little more than that, but that’s our goal.”
Independence is included in the Joplin-Springfield, Mo., district.
“The telethon for our district is being held in Branson, Mo., so instead of traveling to Branson we will mail a check in the amount of funds we raise this weekend on Tuesday,” Caflisch said.
Caflisch said all the funds generated within the Joplin-Springfield district, remain in the district to help those who suffer from muscular dystrophy.
Caflisch said the efforts to raise money for muscular dystrophy started nearly 60 years ago when a father whose daughter was in a wheelchair which had broken stopped at a fire station seeking help to get it fixed.
“The firefighters in Boston responded and helped get the girls’ wheelchair fixed and found out she suffered from muscular dystrophy and they decided to start an effort to raise funds for the disease. That’s how all this started,” Caflisch said.