Local firefighters host 'Burns the Boot' for their annual Fill the Boot Drive
Imperial Valley College Fire Academy Cadet John Robles (left) holds out a work boot to motorists to collect donations for the Burn Institute on Dogwood Avenue and Danenberg Drive in El Centro on Friday. (ALEXIS RANGEL PHOTO / March 23, 2013)
“The more money, the better,” Imperial Valley College Fire Academy Cadet John Robles said as he stood near the Imperial Valley Mall.
Fire personnel from Holtville, Brawley and the IVC Fire Academy were at various intersections Friday morning for their annual Fill the Boot Drive to raise money for the Imperial Valley Burn Institute.
The Burn Institute, which helps burn victims, is hoping to raise more than $8,000 this year, according to Imperial Valley Outreach Specialist Adam Avila. All the proceeds help benefit the Burn Institute’s fire and burn prevention education programs and burn survivor support programs such as Camp Beyond the Scars, a camp for local burn survivors between the ages of 5 and 17, Avila said.
Three more departments, El Centro, Calexico and Imperial County, will be out today to help make that goal.
Brawley fire Capt. Jesse Zendejas said he gets a certain satisfaction from knowing he’s out there helping the community. “This program is directly related to my occupation. I like that there is support and an organization that helps burn victims,” said Zendejas, who was posted at First and Main streets in Brawley.
Donations ranged from large to small amounts, with a few $100 bills being thrown into the firefighters’ boots.
There was a tremendous amount of community support, Brawley Reserve Firefighter Richard Valenzuela said.
“A lady came out of her business to give me a $100 check,” he said.
Cars were slowing down and even stopping at intersections to drop money into the firefighters’ boots.
“The Burn Institute helps patients with severe burns, which is helpful because not everyone has insurance,” Holtville Reserve Firefighter Tyler Martin said.
All of the funds raised through the boot drive stay in the Valley, according to the Burn Institute, and the fire department with the most funds raised will win bragging rights and a bronze boot drive trophy.
Staff Writer Alexis Rangel can be reached at email@example.com
More chances to donate today
Who El Centro Fire Department
When 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where Intersection of Imperial and Adams avenues in El Centro
Who Calexico Fire Department
When 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where Intersection of Cole Road and Rockwood Avenue in Calexico
Who Imperial County Fire Department
When 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where Intersection of North Imperial Avenue and West Barioni Boulevard in Imperial