PA Firefighters to pass the boot for MDA

Seated in a wheelchair at Port Arthur Fire Station No. 1 Dylan Hall made a simple request.

The 13-year-old Bridge City teen, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, is the goodwill ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Flanked by his family, friends and members of the Port Arthur Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 397, Hall urges citizens to help the firefighters Fill-the-Boot.

“Please fill the boot to help kids with special needs go to camp,” Hall said on Thursday.

Dylan Hall and family, left, along with Port Arthur Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince, MDA Fundraising Coordinator Sophie Freeman and members of the Port Arthur Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 397 Port Arthur Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 397 pose for a photo during kick-off of the Annual Fill the Boot Campaign at Fire Station 1 on Thursday. Mary Meaux/The News

Dylan Hall and family, left, along with Port Arthur Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince, MDA Fundraising Coordinator Sophie Freeman and members of the Port Arthur Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 397  pose for a photo during kick-off of the Annual Fill the Boot Campaign at Fire Station 1 on Thursday.
Mary Meaux/The News

The firefighters and MDA kicked off the annual Fill the Boot campaign with the help of Hall and his family and Port Arthur Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince made the celebratory first donation while reading a proclamation. Throughout the years, the Port Arthur Fire Fighters have raised more than $96,500 for MDA and look forward to continuing the tradition.

Hall, who “loves Lego’s,” has built three fire stations with the toy, loves fire trucks and the color red. He has attended the MDA Camp for All where he takes part in a number of activities.

“Fishing, swimming, art, canoeing, dance, baseball, horseback riding, zipline,” he said. “Camp for All is awesome.”

Port Arthur Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince, right, speaks with Alexis Delome, far left, and Dylan Hall during a kick-off event for Port Arthur Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 397 and the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Annual Fill the Boot Campaign at Fire Station 1 on Thursday. Mary Meaux/The News

Port Arthur Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince, right, speaks with Alexis Delome, far left, and Dylan Hall during a kick-off event for Port Arthur Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 397 and the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Annual Fill the Boot Campaign at Fire Station 1 on Thursday.
Mary Meaux/The News

Dylan’s parents, Lee and Kim Hall were also on hand for the event as well as friend Alexis Delome.

“He was diagnosed at Duchenne’s at age four and has been going to camp since age six,” mom Kim Hall said, adding that Dylan walked until the age of 10 ½ then began using a wheelchair.

Lee Hall, far left and son Dylan Hall, seated, pose for a photo with fire fighters during a kick-off event for Port Arthur Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 397 and the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Annual Fill the Boot Campaign at Fire Station 1 on Thursday. Mary Meaux/The News

Lee Hall, far left and son Dylan Hall, seated, pose for a photo with fire fighters during a kick-off event for Port Arthur Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 397 and the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Annual Fill the Boot Campaign at Fire Station 1 on Thursday.
Mary Meaux/The News

Sophie Freeman, MDA fundraising coordinator, gave hugs to the Hall family and chatted before taking to the podium.

“”We couldn’t be more proud to kick-off this year’s Fill the Boot campaign alongside the inspiring, selfless individuals of the Port Arthur Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 397 who make a profound impact on our families’ health, wellbeing and quality of life,” Freeman said. “Together with their unwavering Fill the Boot support, we will raise critical funds and awareness to empower kids and adults in Port Arthur with life-enhancing resources and support that will open new possibilities so they can live a life without limits.”

Lee Hall, who is a firefighter in Bridge City, thanked his fellow firefighters for their work to raise funds.

“Thank you guys form the bottom of our family’s hearts. You don’t know what it means to us,” Lee Hall said. “I’m a firefighter and I recognize how hard it is.”

Dylan Hall, left, poses for a photo with Port Arthur Fire Capt. Perry Manuel during a kick-off event for Port Arthur Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 397 and the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Annual Fill the Boot Campaign at Fire Station 1 on Thursday. Mary Meaux/The News

Dylan Hall, left, poses for a photo with Port Arthur Fire Capt. Perry Manuel during a kick-off event for Port Arthur Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 397 and the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Annual Fill the Boot Campaign at Fire Station 1 on Thursday.
Mary Meaux/The News

Perry Manuel with the Port Arthur Professional Fire Fighters Association 397 said meeting Dylan Hall brings the issue home.

“It makes it real, to see someone this disease affects,” Manuel said.

This year’s Fill the Boot campaign is on Friday, April 1, Friday, April 8 and Friday, April 15 at various intersections across the city.

E-mail: mary.meaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews

 

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