The goal was to raise $20,000 and the two-day Fill the Boot drive for the Escalon Fire Department surpassed that total.
Money raised goes to the Firefighters Burn Institute of Sacramento and officials said on Monday that the total had gone over $22,000. It will go higher, as that figure does not include the change collected from motorists over the weekend, only the bills and checks.
Coins have to be taken to the bank and counted; a final tally is anticipated within the week.
Firefighters, armed with their turnout boots, were set up at the main intersection of Highway 120/McHenry Avenue/Escalon Avenue on both Saturday and Sunday, May 14 and 15. First year coordinator Kaden Christensen said there were 10 to 15 volunteers that rotated through to cover the shifts over the two days.
Fulltime personnel, reserves, volunteers, all were part of the collection effort.
“I learned a lot,” admitted Christensen of pulling the major fundraising drive together. “I think next year there will be some changes, maybe doing half days over two weekends.”
He does anticipate it staying in May, rather than move it to a different month.
The weather this weekend was hot, especially on Saturday, so the collection wrapped up a little ahead of schedule that day. But Christensen said they were very pleased with the donations from motorists. Those passing through the intersection could drop paper money in the boots, a check or whatever coins they could scrounge up in their vehicle. There is even a way to Venmo a donation, said Christensen.
He also pointed to donations from MarVal Main Street Market, Austin Meats, Starbucks, Mountain Mike’s and D’Boni’s, helping to provide food for the volunteers.
“Steve Gately cooked all the meat for us, he barbecued tri tip and chicken,” Christensen said.
A quick tally of the Saturday collection showed that the boot drive had raised about $17,500 in cash that one day alone. Traffic was a little slower on Sunday but Christensen said they did surpass the goal.
“People were good about it,” he said.
Those donating were given a flyer to place on their dashboard to indicate they had already given. Donations help the Firefighters Burn Institute provide burn treatment and recovery programs for children and adults.
The Institute was founded in 1973, establishing a local burn treatment facility and promoting fire and burn prevention through educational outreach efforts.