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Local firefighters give back, raised nearly $11,000

Hastings firefighters Mark Knoll (left) and Joe Cysiewski (right) walk the median of Vermillion Street collecting money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association "Fill the Boot" campaign. Kelsey Roy / RiverTown Multimedia

Local firefighters rallied on a warm summer day to join the fight against muscular dystrophy.

Members of the Hastings Fire Department took to the streets July 16 and 17 to help money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association's "Fill the Boot" campaign.

Firefighters stood on the Vermillion Street medians to collect money from passersby, and raised an estimated $10,600. That amount is expected to go up as they continue counting, according to firefighter Chad Jensen.

The original goal the department set for the two days was $2,000.

"We didn't know what to expect. We tried to be conservative, but that was blown out of the water," Jensen said.

When Hastings Fire Department became a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters a couple of years ago, a door opened to help give back to the community in a big way.

The IAFF has been in partnership with the Muscular Dystrophy Association since 1954 and is one of the biggest national sponsors of the organization.

"We wanted to give back to the community, and this partnership was a great opportunity," Jensen said. "It's something we knew we wanted to be a part of."

The money raised in the Hastings "Fill the Boot" campaign will fund research as well as life-enhancing programs for those who suffer with MD.