Cheney firefighters ask public to help Fill the Boot at Homecoming

Annual event has raised millions nationally to fight muscular dystrophy


There will be more than just Eastern Washington University football fans out and about this Saturday for the Eagles Homecoming.

The Cheney Firefighters Local 1919 is holding their annual “Fill the Boot” campaign at various locations throughout town asking motorists to toss in any spare change or dollars they may have to help fight muscular dystrophy. According to a press release from the Muscular Dystrophy Association, firefighters became the first national sponsor for MDA in 1954, and have raised millions of dollars over the years. Firefighter and campaign coordinator Bill Dennstaedt said the Cheney firefighters have typically raised between $1,700 and $2,200 through Fill the Boot.

“We’re trying to stick between somewhere in that $2,200 to $2,500 range,” he added.

Besides Fill the Boot, firefighters have raised money for MDA through events such as sponsoring golf tournaments and softball tournaments. Many also contribute some of their vacation each year to volunteer for MDA summer camp.

“Fire fighters are American heroes who make such a difference for the people and families we serve” MDA fundraising coordinator Alexa Borden said in a news release. “The funds they raise are used for health care services, equipment support, fund research, and to help send kids to MDA summer camp located in Rathdrum, Idaho. All of the funds raised stay in the local community. We are very grateful for everything they do.”

Dennstaedt said the Cheney firefighters will be at three locations: the parking lots next to Starbucks and at the Maverick station and store as well as the corner of First Street and Cheney-Spokane Road. Right now about 12 firefighters are signed up to help, along with family and friends. Dennstaedt said if more help out they might set up at the corner of First Street and Cheney-Spangle Road after the conclusion of the Homecoming parade.

Fill the Boot is one of several activities Cheney Local 1919 takes part in this time of year. Firefighters will also be at the EWU harvest carnivals and tours Oct. 31 and will be holding their annual hayride and food drive in December.

Dennstaedt said firefighters at the station Halloween night also make it a practice to get out and hand out treats to kids.

John McCallum can be reached at


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