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Firefighters kick into gear in effort to help with fight against MD

August 17, 2012

Austin Pate of the Punxsutawney Fire Department is shown at a recent drive with boot in hand to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Firefighters will be in front of the Central and Lindsey fire halls today receiving donations to help fight Muscular Dystrophy. (File photo by Larry McGuire of The Punxsutawney Spirit)

By Larry McGuire
Of The Spirit

PUNXSUTAWNEY —It used to be called the "Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy;" now, it is now called "MDA Show Of Strength."

According to the Muscular Dystrophy(MD) website: "Show of Strength" is a three-hour prime-time broadcast special that will air at 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2 on various television stations throughout the country.

Today, members of the Punxsutawney Fire Department are planning to hold a special boot drive from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in front of the Central fire hall at the intersection of Hampton Ave., Front and East Mahoning streets and the Lindsey fire hall on West Mahoning Street near Foundry Street, to support the fight to save the young victims of MD who used to be known as "Jerry's Kids," said Tami McFarland, vice president of the Punxsutawney Fire Department.

"We've been collecting for MDA for a number of years and enjoy helping in the fight against MD," McFarland said, adding that if you see a firefighter with a boot in hand to please help by putting some money with all of the proceeds going to MDA.

Muscular Dystrophy is a group of inherited disorders that involve muscle weakness and loss of muscle tissue, which get worse over time.

According to the MDA website: The show will be broadcast over MDA's "Love Network" of almost 150 television stations across the country and streamed from www.mda.org.

According to www.mda.org: Through the years, MDA's iconic fundraising show has presented some of TV's most memorable moments.

What started as a 21-1/2 hour Labor Day weekend telethon was shortened to six hours in 2011 in response to changing television viewing habits, and it has now been cut down to three hours during prime time.

McFarland said all of the money raised by the fire department will go directly to the telethon and to help fight MD.

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