Firefighters' boots fill for charity

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In just eight hours, Vancouver and Clark County Fire District 6 firefighters' Fill the Boot event raised almost $15,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

During the event, off-duty firefighters stand on corners and ask drivers to drop donations into their boots.

The event, held Aug. 9 and 10 at the intersection of Highway 99 and Northeast 78th Street in Hazel Dell, brought in less than last year.

In 2011, city officials, citing safety concerns, told the Vancouver Firefighters Union it couldn't hold the nationwide fundraiser within city limits. Publicity from the flap brought drivers out in droves, and the union raised a record $20,310 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

This year, new city codes made the union decide to keep the drive in the unincorporated county.

"It's not quite as much. We might have to get more days on board to make up for it," said John Stewart, the Vancouver firefighter who helped organize this year's event. "But it's still quite a bit, considering the hours," he said.

Stewart added that a piece of valuable jewelry was found in one boot. He said that they'll hold the item for 30 days, then consider it a donation. If the item was accidentally lost, the owner can call 360-487-7212.