Fill the Boot campaign to raise money to help kick muscular dystrophy
Evin Morrison, The Oklahoma Daily
AT A GLANCE
Muscular dystrophies are a group of disorders that cause muscle weakness and a decrease in muscle mass over time. Some muscular dystrophies are not identified until a child is 3 to 6 years of age, but can be diagnosed earlier.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Sooners can give the boot to muscular dystrophy today by filling a firefighter’s boot with spare change to support research on the disease.
The Fill the Boot campaign, organized by OU’s Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, began Monday and continues today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the South Oval. The money raised will support the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Oklahoma City branch.
The fraternity chose to raise money by holding out firefighter boots to mimic an activity firefighters across the country take part in to raise money for muscular dystrophy research every year, said Conor Walsh, zoology junior and co-chairman of the event. Members of the fraternity hope to eventually partner with the fire department to participate in the event.
Firefighters in Oklahoma City raised more than $250,000 this year with the Fill the Boot campaign, said Britni Garner, fundraising coordinator for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in Oklahoma City.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association sponsors about 300 research projects annually, according to its website. It is the world’s largest nongovernmental sponsor of research seeking the causes of, and effective treatments for, neuromuscular diseases.
The Oklahoma City chapter of the association raises about $1.6 million per year, Garner said. Of the money raised, 77 percent helps local citizens with muscular diseases, and 14 percent funds muscular dystrophy research around the country.
A portion of the money allows children with muscular dystrophy to attend summer camps organized by the Muscular Dystrophy Association where they can participate in normal child activities such as swimming and horseback riding, Garner said. Attending one of these camps would normally cost $800, but the money raised by the association allows children to attend for free.
Members of Pi Kappa Alpha will leave the boots in each of the Panhellenic sorority houses on campus today for people to continue dropping money into for the rest of the week, Walsh said.