By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Down Economy Doesn't Hurt Boot Drive
Four days in Farmington were dedicated to the collection of paper money and spare change over the long Presidents' Day holiday, with motorists passing through the community at Highway 4 and Escalon-Bellota Road donating to the annual 'Fill the Boot' drive. Fire Chief Conni Bailey said all firefighters but one - out of state on vacation - worked at some point during the holiday, manning the collection points with a turnout boot.

"I am very lucky to have such a dedicated bunch," Bailey said.

Traffic on the heavily traveled route was steady throughout the weekend and Bailey said Friday kicked off the fundraising effort with some $7,200 brought in.

"You just never know, with the economy, I thought we would be down but people are always so generous," she said.

The occasional person upset by the collection effort pales in comparison to those willing to give, she said.

Monday's final day saw a half dozen firefighters there for the day, with help from the Farmington Postmaster as well, in addition to a couple volunteers that turned out for a few hours and the chief's grandson, Jonathan Bailey, who helped count the money turned in.

Bailey added that the department sets a goal of $20,000 for the collection each year to go to the Firefighters Burn Institute in Sacramento, working to stay in the '20 Grand Club.'

"By my count, the tentative amount is $27,994.50," Bailey reported about 9 p.m. Monday, after the counting was done. "Once the bank counts it and gives me a final, I will write a check to make it an even $28,000 to send to the Burn Institute."

The four-day collection is designed to catch the traffic coming and going on the holiday weekend and motorists who give receive a flyer for their windshield so they aren't asked each time they pass through the intersection.

"Guess we did pretty good," a tired Bailey added on Monday night. "I'm very pleased with the generosity of people."