By Mason W. Canales

The Cove Herald

The Copperas Cove Fire Department and the Copperas Cove Professional Firefighters' Association raised more than $11,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association during the Fill the Boot campaign Sept. 2-4.

The campaign "and the MDA are just another opportunity for firefighters to do what they are born to do - help people," Fire Chief Mike Baker said about the event.

Firefighters stationed themselves at several intersections in Copperas Cove and collected money from passers-by in vehicles stopped at traffic lights.

"In the first day, we had a bucket full of coins," Deputy Chief Gary Young said.

While grateful for the total, the association had wanted to exceed last year's total of more than $13,000, said Braden Frame, the organization's treasurer.

"It went well," he said. "It didn't go as well as we were hoping, because unfortunately, we were hampered by fires every day. ... We weren't able to spend quite as much time as we wanted to (at the intersections)."

MDA is glad to have the funds.

"It means so much, and firefighters are our biggest supporters," said Kristen Wheeler, MDA executive director in Waco. "We are just so appreciative of their efforts, not only for the Fill the Boot, but also for helping protect our residents."

The money raised during the campaign helps fund research for 43 muscular diseases and funds a number of programs that benefit local residents, including a summer camp program for children with muscular dystrophy.

Firefighters who participated in the campaign aren't the only ones who deserve praise. "They, the citizens of Copperas Cove, are so generous to stop and support the firefighters and the MDA," Wheeler said.

Baker was impressed that firefighters raised as much money as they did and also thanked residents for their support.

"It is tough economic times, and the fact that people want to give is great," he said.

Contact Mason W. Canales at or (254) 501-7474. Follow him on Twitter at KDHCoveeditor.

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