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First responders in Slidell help raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy Association

By David Freese, News Banner

482 days ago   Article ID# 1918297
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Muscular Dystrophy Association

SLIDELL, LOUISIANA (News Banner) - Local first responders in the Slidell area have teamed up to help raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, a non-profit health agency that is dedicated to finding cures and treatments for muscular dystrophy.

The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education, MDA’s Website states.

MDA combats neuromuscular diseases through worldwide research and comprehensible medical and support services. The association conducts research regarding more than 40 different variations of muscular disease.

The association has funded the discovery of the genetic underpinnings of almost all diseases within the program, MDA says. These include muscular dystrophies, spinal muscular atrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and several other neuromuscular diseases along with treatments based on data and research.

Both the Slidell Firefighters Association and the Slidell Police Department recently put on fundraisers in support of MDA.

On Tuesday night, the SFA awarded a $5,329 check to MDA Executive Director April Catarella at the Slidell Noon Lions Club in Olde Towne. The SFA also raised more than $2,000 at a golf tournament held in April at the Royal Golf Course, 201 Royal Dr., in Slidell. The more than $5,000 was raised at a “boot shake” event held recently off Gause Boulevard, according to SFA Vice President Billy Dekemel.

“It was our best ever since doing boot shakes for whatever reason,” Dekemel said during the check presentation for MDA Tuesday.

According to Dekemel, firefighters with the St. Tammany Fire Protection District 1 and the SFA have been doing “boot shakes” for years and the Firefighters Association is the only association allowed to put on such events due to codes within the parish charter. Firefighters stood on the corner of Corporate Square Boulevard and Gause Boulevard, not far from their headquarters, and shook boots as cars passed by.

“More than 22 firefighters worked the street corners holding up their fire boots while people filled them with money. Our goal was to collect at least $2,400 for MDA,” said President of SFA and STPFPD1 Chief of Fire Prevention Chad A. Duffaut.

Firefighters made well above their goal, he said.

“The firefighters were ecstatic to hear the final total and glad that we are able to give back to the community,” Duffaut said. “In fact, according to our MDA representative April Catarella, there are 33 families in Slidell that depend on the support of MDA. We would like to thank all the citizens that so graciously donated to such a worthy cause.”

“We just love supporting MDA and just love having you here,” Dekemel said Tuesday night to Catarella and the Eaton family, consisting of Lisa and her children Christian, Allissa and Larissa Eaton.

Little Oak Elementary School student Larissa, 10, is inflicted with muscular dystrophy.

According to Catarella, the funds raised for MDA can go three different places: towards research, health care and clinical needs or towards MDA Summer, which the next camp will be held at Camp Grant Walker in Alexandria June 16-21, 2013.

The SFA choose to put their funds towards the camp, Catarella said.

“Last year we got to go to camp…it’s one week out of the year these kids get to feel normal,” said Lisa Eaton, who also told the firefighters that she and her family would love to attend the “boot shake” scheduled for 2013.

The Slidell Police Department recently held a “Lock-up” fundraiser at Southside Café, 3154 Pontchartrain Dr., in support of MDA. Chief of Police Randy Smith and the SPD’s reserve division were on hand during the fundraiser.

“They say doing time changes you. That couldn’t be truer when business and community leaders agree to be part of the MDA Lock-up. By agreeing to do time, these leaders from all around Slidell go behind bars as they raise bail money to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association,” the SPD said.

Reserve officers went to numerous local businesses where they would apprehend business leaders and bring them to Southside Cafe. Once “in jail” the business leaders would phone friends, family and coworkers in an attempt to raise bail money, which actually went towards supporting MDA.

The Eaton family was also present at the SPD’s fundraiser, which resulted in a little more than $500. The “Lock-up” program’s entirety raised more than $25,000.

Copyright 2014 News Banner   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 482 days ago   Article ID# 1918297

Muscular Dystrophy Association    Visit Website

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