Firemen readying for MDA Telethon

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 3, 2003

This Saturday and Sunday the Andalusia Fire Department will host a muscular dystrophy fund raiser, as part of the Jerry Lewis National Telethon, fireman Willy Tarey announced.

On Saturday, the department will be collecting donations from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., and on Sunday, the department will accept donations from 12 p.m. until 3 p.m.

"We'll be at the intersection of Prestwood Bridge Road and the Western Bypass in front of Wal-Mart," said Tarey.

"When traffic stops, we'll be collecting donations in the fire booth."

Tarey said the 24-hour telethon will air Labor Day weekend on WSFA-12.

Tarey, along with other local firefighters, will be on air for approximately 10 minutes during the telethon.

The telethon for this area will be hosted in Montgomery, said Tarey.

The national organization was initiated years ago, but this is the force's third year of participation in the charity.

"We're shooting for about $2,000," said Tarey.

"Three years ago, we gathered about $2,600."

The muscular dystrophy drive is the largest

fund-raiser for the organization, Tarey said.

According to Tarey, the funds raised by the organization also go towards other research.

"Through research funding, (the organization) was able to help cure cancer patients and find a medicine to help AIDS patients," Tarey said.

For Tarey, the drive is a lot of hard work, but rewarding, he said.

"We're just trying to do our part," he said.

"We'll have a sign in both directions so people will know where we're at and what we're doing.

We'll have a fire truck out there with a big banner across the front of it so everyone will know.

"Every time I think about a kid not being able to walk, it kills me," said Tarey.

"Even if it's just one person I help, I'd feel I've done something."

There will be approximately six firefighters, each with a boot to be filled with donations, during the drive.

"It's a lot of fun," Tarey said. "People are really good about donating once you tell them about the people they are helping.

It's amazing."