Firefighters raise $63K for MDA

Herald/Steven Doll - Killeen Firefighter Keven Tennison, treasurer for the Killeen Firefighters Association, sorts through donations April 29 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which was donated through the fire department’s “Fill the Boot” campaign. -

By Victor O'Brien

Killeen Daily Herald

After the last coin was counted, and days after the last dollar fell into a bucket, Killeen firefighters tallied $63,464.17 to help find a cure for muscular dystrophy.

The Killeen Fire Department's 2010 "Fill the Boot" campaign came close but fell short of 2009 totals. The donations still provided a sizable contribution, Killeen Firefighters Association treasurer Keven Tennison said Wednesday. The funds will go to the Heart of Texas branch of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Area drivers donated the money by dumping coins, dollars and checks into boots while stopped at street corners. Forty-eight firefighters stood at corners for 12 hours a day from Wednesday to Friday last week.

"Just like I've said before, the citizens of Killeen have always shown their generosity, and once again they've show it this year, to go to a great cause. Hopefully, one day we can find a cure," Tennison said.

Impressive totals in 2009 ($77,709) and 2008 ($94,528) led Killeen to become the highest per capita MDA donation location in the country.

The cause carries special significance to Killeen firefighters, deputy fire chief Steve Buchanan said last week. Former KFD Capt. Melvin Whiteley, whom the department's fire training center is named for, died more than 20 years ago from a disease associated with muscular dystrophy.

Contact Victor O'Brien at or (254) 501-7468. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.

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