COLUMBIA, SC — People are trying to take advantage of the Columbia-Richland Fire Department’s annual boot drive raising money for muscular dystrophy, the department spokesman said Thursday.
Firefighters had to scare off scammers at intersections twice Wednesday hoping to get change from drivers who thought they would be donating money for the fire department’s Midlands Muscular Dystrophy Association Boot Drive, Brick Lewis said.
“It happens every year,” he said.
When scammers are spotted, the city’s central dispatch is usually notified, Lewis said, but the scammers run away before police can arrive.
There are a few easy ways drivers are making sure they are donating to the fire department, Lewis said. Real firefighters will be wearing reflective vests and uniforms with the Columbia-Richland Fire Department symbol on them, and fire trucks will be at all the locations where donations are being collected.
Firefighters will still be taking donations until 6 p.m. Friday. Last year, the department raised more than $132,700 for the Midlands Muscular Dystrophy Association.
The fundraiser has collected more than $2.3 million from area drivers since 1990, when firefighters were allowed to collect change while on duty. It is the top fire department fundraiser in the Southeast and one of the top 10 nationally.
If you would like to make a donation, you will find firefighters standing at the following intersections:
• Assembly and Gervais streets
• Huger and Blossom streets
• Devine and Harden streets
• Bull Street and Elmwood Avenue
• Main Street and Sunset Drive
• Bush River and Broad River roads.
• South Beltline Boulevard and Rosewood Drive
• Forest Drive and Beltline Boulevard
• Leesburg and Garners Ferry roads
• Two Notch Road and Decker Boulevard
• Sparkleberry Lane and Two Notch Road
• SC 21 and Blythewood road
• Pineview Drive and Garners Ferry Road
• Kennerly Drive and Broad River Road
• Trenholm Road and Forest Drive
• Rabon and Farrow roads
• Rhame and Clemson roads
The Muscular Dystrophy Association is a nonprofit health organization that works to cure muscular dystrophy, ALS and other related diseases through research. To learn more, visit the organization’s website by clicking here or the local chapter’s facebook page by clicking here.