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Firefighters raise thousands in boot drive

By Melanie Ruberti

mruberti@civitasmedia.com

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LaGRANGE — For three days, the LaGrange Fire Department stood out in the hot sun and pouring down rain outside the Walmart on New Franklin Road and the Walmart Marketplace on Lafayette Parkway to collect money for people with burn injuries.

The group joined nearly 100 other fire departments around the state of Georgia for the 27th annual Give Burns The Boot drive.

This year, despite the crazy weather, the LaGrange firefighters put their best foot forward. They collected $2,444.47, said Lt. Chris Taylor, organizer of the LaGrange Fire Department’s boot drive.

All the money will benefit the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation.

“We are really pleased with everyone coming out and contributing to a worthy cause and helping burn survivors cope with physical and emotional scars,” he said.

The Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to partner with the fire service and burn care community to provide fire safety and prevention education, support medical facilities and assist burn survivors in their recovery.

Among activities made possible by the boot drive proceeds is Camp Oo-U-La, Georgia’s only camp held exclusively for burn-injured children.

The LaGrange Fire Department will hold two more boot drives through out the summer to assist two other nonprofit organizations, said Taylor. One of the agencies will be the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the other group will be the American Red Cross.

Melanie Ruberti is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. She may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.