This weekend, three members of the North Dundas Fire Service will put their safety and comfort on the line in a way far different from usual, all in the name of raising money for Muscular Dystrophy Canada. From Saturday, February 25 to Sunday, February 26, the three members will be conducting a Rooftop Campout to collect donations in support of the charity.
The members will spend 24 hours at the Winchester Foodland, which includes an overnight campout on the roof. They will be on site from approximately 10 am on Saturday, and end at 10 am on Sunday. The members will be on the ground collecting donations via the traditional “fill the boot” method during the store’s open hours, and will spend Saturday night camped out on the roof!
The firefighters will still remain available for emergency calls, with one fire department vehicle stationed with them for the entire time. Being a firefighter is a 24/7 commitment after all, and one that members of the NDFS are known to serve honourably.
“Dan has been fantastic right from the start,” said NDFS member Sean Donovan, speaking of Foodland owner Dan Pettigrew. “He has advised his overnight staff that we will be there so we have access to the bathrooms if needed. He offered to supply us with meals.”
As of the time of writing, ideas were in the works for things to do for the kids/adults who show up over the weekend. One of the NDFS members is a minor hockey executive, so plans have been underway to potentially have a team or two stop by. “I’m working on getting Sparky the fire dog to make an appearance as well,” added Sean.
Also in the works, though not confirmed as of the time of writing, is a physical challenge involving a weighted boot. “They get pretty heavy when we collect donations, so I thought we could simulate that,” said Sean. “I did a search for an all-terrain wheelchair which comes in at about $20,000. A quick Google search shows that amount of $5 bills will weight approximately 8 pounds, so we would put that weight in a boot and challenge people to hold it up for as long as they can.”
Muscular Dystrophy Canada is the charity of choice for fire departments across Canada. This weekend’s Campout will be the first of its kind in North Dundas to raise money for the organization, though fundraising for Muscular Dystrophy Canada is done by the NDFS regularly. “We have developed an unbreakable bond with this organization,” said Sean. “We would like to encourage all our residents, throughout North Dundas, to lend their support during this event.”