COPPERAS COVE — Scott Howard noticed something while collecting donations Friday to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association as the fire department took part in its sixth Fill the Boot campaign.

“The people who have less give more,” the Copperas Cove firefighter and president of the city’s Professional Fire Fighters Association said.

Ending Sunday, various shifts of firefighters will be at South Farm-to-Market 116 and U.S. Highway 190; Constitution Drive and Highway 190; and Avenue B and North Farm-to-Market 116 to gather donations to benefit MDA.

Seeing firefighters at intersections holding boots and buckets to ask for donations is a familiar sight to some residents, but the volunteers still get to explain the purpose to some drivers.

“Some don’t know it’s for kids in Coryell County,” said Charles Johnson, a firefighter and emergency medical technician in the city for two years. “They think it’s for the fire department.”

Since 2007, the Copperas Cove fire department has raised more than $35,000 for the charity, and this year hopes to beat the 2011 total of $10,000.

“People are eager to help out as much as possible,” Johnson said. “They give what they have.”

Fill the Boot campaigns are run by firefighters in cities across the country, which make up the top contributors to MDA, according to a news release. All donations go straight to MDA research, with much of the money raised by departments in Central Texas staying in the area to benefit local families, the release stated.

“This event is and always has been near and dear to firefighters across the country,” said fire chief Sean Hughes. “It’s not just the Firefighters Association. We have some who belong to the association and some who don’t, but they all participate equally.”

Contact Audrey Spencer at or (254) 501-7476

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