By Taylor Short

The Cove Herald

Copperas Cove residents will have a chance next week to translate pocket change into help for those suffering from muscular and nervous system diseases in Central Texas.

About a dozen of the city's firefighters will brave the heat Sept. 3-5 to collect donations as part of the Muscular Dystrophy Association's 2010 Fill-the-Boot Campaign.

"We raised about $9,300 last year, and every year we try to beat our record," Copperas Cove Fire Department Lt. Scott Howard said.

The event raises awareness for the MDA's iconic Labor Day telethon with world-famous actor and comedian Jerry Lewis, which has raised more than $1 billion since its inception in 1966.

While the telethon raises money for millions across the country, the proceeds from the Central Texas campaigns stay here.

The fire department and an MDA representative will host a kick-off event, held at 10 a.m. Sept. 2 at 415 S. Main St., to "get everybody geared up," Howard said.

Firefighters will take turns standing at the corners of East Robertson Avenue and Main Street and Avenue D and First Street in shifts from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Howard emphasized that while they will be gathering donations, all emergency responders will be available for calls as necessary.

"It's really a labor of love," he said. "Anything we can do for kids is a great thing for us."

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