CAMP PENDLETON — Camp Pendleton Fire Department firefighters were awarded with a trophy and letters of appreciation from the Burn Institute in San Diego at Station No. 5 Sept. 7 for their participation in the 11th annual “Fill the Boot” campaign April 7 through April 12.
Approximately 22 firefighters participated in the five-day event, standing at stoplights throughout Oceanside and surrounding communities and holding out their work boots to collect donations for the Burn Institute from passers-by.
Collectively, they raised more than $200,000, this year’s highest dollar amount raised by any fire department in the campaign.
Ron Pickett, a firefighter with Station No. 5, CPFD, and coordinator for his station’s participation, has been involved in the campaign for the last decade, and said it is a rewarding experience every year for all involved.
“This fundraiser is beneficial to us and the community as well,” siad Pickett. “When we go out there with our boots, it seems like everyone on the road is willing to give. We had people honking at us at stoplights and yelling for us to come over so they could donate.”
The funds raised will be distributed among the Burn Institute’s many programs, including fire and burn prevention, smoke alarms, burn research, the Camp Beyond Scars program and, most importantly, burn survivor support, according to James Floros, executive director and chief executive officer for the Burn Institute.
“The firefighters here are our number one supporters. Without their annual donations, we wouldn’t have the funds to keep up with the many programs we provide for burn victims, continual research and informative outreach,’ Floros said. “The funds we’ve recieved this year easily constitute a third of our annual budget, and we are very grateful.”
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