Another successful “Fill the Boot for Burns” campaign has come and gone but not before raising more than $14,000 to support the mission of Firefighters Burn Institute.

Patterson Firefighters IAFF 4577 hosted the event on May 7 for the seventh year collecting money from passing motorists, cyclists and pedestrians at the intersection of Sperry and Ward Avenues.

Firefighters from West Stanislaus Fire Protection District and Cal-Fire (Del Puerto) Station 15 on Sperry Avenue joined Patterson to support the fundraising efforts.

Patterson Fire Captain and Paramedic Casey Zenger organized the Firefighters Burn Institute (FFBI) event and, for Zenger, his ‘why?’ is clear. “The campaign for the Firefighters Burn Institute is important for me because I have seen firsthand the harm and damage that burns cause in children and adults, both physically and mentally, from calls that I have personally been on. I am also very aware of what the recovery is like for survivors of burn injuries,” he said.

“When I receive emails from the burn institute with updates about camps and programs for burn survivors, especially the children’s camps, it brings me joy to see that the children have a place where they can go and just be kids and not have anyone judge them on the way they look because of their injuries.”

The Firefighters Kids Camp, held each summer for kids ages seven to 17 years old and the Little Heroes Family Burn Camp for children ages one to eight, provide burn survivor children a safe place to be just like everyone else, and a positive environment to overcome challenges and achieve goals. The camps provide an opportunity for kids who have experienced terrible circumstances to see a future filled with endless possibilities, according to a statement from the FFBI.

“By organizing the fill the boot fund drive I feel like I am doing what I can to help facilitate these camps and programs for burn survivors, as well as burn treatment advancements,” Zenger said.

The FFBI does more than provide state of the art medical treatment facilities and kids camps, as Zenger explained, the support that is provided to families directly impacted by burn injuries can’t be understated. “The institute is there to assist the family with meals, housing, and other needs while they navigate the critical time.”

Zenger said, “We (Patterson Firefighters IAFF 4577) began hosting this event in 2017 and have been amazed at the generosity of this community ever since. I continue to chair and organize this event because I believe that we are helping and contributing to a wonderful cause. But it’s because of the citizens of Patterson and the surrounding areas, that this event continues to be a great success. On behalf of myself and the Patterson Firefighters IAFF local 4577, thank you for your support.”

For more information on the Firefighters Burn Institute, please visit www.ffburn.org.

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