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Firefighters hit the streets to 'Fill the Boot'

BY: Jennifer Lysiak, Lancaster Editor | March 28, 2014

LANCASTER- On Sunday, firefighters were out on the streets of Lancaster asking motorists to help "Fill the Boot" for Variety Club, the children's charity of Buffalo and Western New York.

Throughout the morning, about 35 to 40 Lancaster Fire Department members participated in the “Fill the Boot” fundraiser and after five hours the department raised more than $7,000.

“Many motorists were extremely generous,” Lancaster Fire Chief Scott M. Kuhlmey said, adding one woman put $45 in the boot. “We are accustomed to loose change from cup holders, including singles and fives, but the amount of $10 to $20 bills was quite surprising.”

The Variety Club helps children from all over Western New York. It supports Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, the Robert Warner MD Center for Children with Special Needs, and many other local children organizations.

“Our contributions assure that the finest medical care and health care services will continue to be available for children in need,” said Kuhlmey. “The Lancaster Fire Department and a number of local fire departments participate in the same Fill the Boot campaign. It is a cause we have proudly supported for many years and a charity that our members enjoy supporting.”

The Lancaster Fire department has participated in the “Fill the Boot” fundraiser for approximately 15 years. Members of the department stood at four different intersections Sunday including, Central Avenue and Broadway, Broadway and Lake Avenue, Como Park Boulevard and Aurora Street, and Pleasant Avenue and N. Aurora Street, collecting money.

“The members feel great pride in being able to give back to the community that we serve, and know that with the money that we raise, it could help save a child’s life,” said Kuhlmey.

Also, Kuhlmey said unfortunately many residents only get the chance to see members of the department when they’re responding to an emergency.

“To see us taking time out of our Sunday morning to collect donations for the Variety Club seemed to spark a giving spirit, and many people said how happy they were to see us, and how happy they were that we were doing this,” Kuhlmey remarked.

Lastly, Kuhlmey thanked the residents of Lancaster and everyone who passed through the village, who rolled their window down, and donated.

“They, along with our volunteers who braved the cold, helped to make this one of the most successful years we can remember,” he said.

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