Wichita Falls Firefighters Remember Kelly Crush During Fill the Boot Campaign

Wichita Falls Firefighters Remember Kelly Crush During Fill the Boot Campaign

<br> <P>The annual Fill the Boot campaign for Wichita Falls Firefighter's has come and gone.</P> <P>In addition to raising money for MDA, crews also used this event to remember a special comrade who recently lost his battle with a neuromuscular disease.</P> <P></P>

Wichita Falls firefighters spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday getting drivers to fill the boot for MDA.

And coordinators say the response was fabulous.

"I didn't have enough boots out here. I had more guys. Obviously, if I've got all the boots on the street that's when we're doing the best collecting. So, I think the guys have really stepped up," says Corky Scarbrough, coordinator for Fill the Boot.

Stepping up because of the late Kelly Crush.

In March, this former firefighter lost his battle with Lou Gherig's Disease.

"They want to keep Kelly's memory going and it seems like the community is giving a whole lot more this year" says Firefighter Mark Englishbee.

That "more" is coming in the form of donated dollars, change and even checks during this year's event, which is dedicated to Crush for his service as a devoted firefighter, as well as his push to get this campaign kicked up a notch.

"Three years ago, we were doing it all off duty and we were collecting about $25,000 and Kelly persuaded us and the fire chiefs and the city managers to let us go out and do it on duty and we doubled our collections. We went from $25,000 to $50,000 that year," says Scarbrough.

Last year, Fill the Boot brought in nearly $57,000.

This year, firefighters worked to bring in even more.

"We feel like we owe it to him to go out and do better cause that was his message after he was diagnosed with ALS. He went around with firefighters all over the country and said, " You guys can do better. Try harder. Do a little more. It could be you next time diagnosed with one of these diseases and we need to find a cure," adds Scarbrough.

Firefighters say they've raised $56,000 in dollar bills and checks.

They're still counting all of the donated change and expect to have a final Fill the Boot total on Monday.

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