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Motorists Help Escalon Fire Raise More Than $24,000
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Escalon firefighters Matt Uecker, left, and Louis Roach smile as they accept donations in their turnout boots on Saturday, May 18 as part of the weekend long ‘Fill The Boot’ drive at the city’s main intersection.

It wasn’t necessarily the best of weekends to be out on the highways in the local area – especially if you weren’t driving.

Rain that arrived on Saturday afternoon, May 18 and intermittent rain that fell on Sunday, May 19 cut the ‘Fill The Boot’ drive in Escalon just a little short, but the donation totals were still on par with past years.

Money collected by firefighters in the effort is donated to the Firefighters Burn Institute in Sacramento, helping provide educational programs and a variety of services for burn victims.

“We had about 14 different people out there,” said boot drive coordinator Jennifer Cannon, a volunteer firefighter with Escalon. “There weren’t too many people that couldn’t make it.”

Working the main intersection, firefighters were stationed on Highway 120, McHenry Avenue and Escalon Avenue, offering turnout boots to passing motorists in hopes of securing a donation.

“We estimate about $24,000 was raised,” Cannon said on Tuesday. “The paper money was just over $23,000.”

The change collected was still being counted at press time, but Cannon said typically that change adds up to about $1,000 so she feels the $24,000 mark should be met.

“Saturday we stayed out until about 4 p.m. and it sprinkled on us about the last hour and a half,” she added. “Sunday we pulled everybody off the streets about 3 p.m.”

That didn’t hamper the collection effort too much, with the department pleased to be able to present a nice check to the Burn Institute.

“Traffic seemed a little slower than normal but people must have been a little more generous,” Cannon said.

Fire officials don’t necessarily set a goal but have been over the $20,000 mark in collections for the last several years.

Volunteers, reserves and paid personnel all spent some time wielding their turnout boots in the weekend effort.

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Volunteer firefighter Jennifer Cannon, right, gets some help from her brother Scott as they add more money from the turnout boot to the growing pile collected over the weekend by members of the Escalon Fire Department.