CAMANCHE — Members of the Camanche Volunteer Fire Department hit a new high in the annual fund-raising drive to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

This year was the 50th year the department has been raising funds for MDA. Through the years, Camanche firefighters have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the local MDA chapter and “Jerry’s Kids” through an annual pancake breakfast, catfish fry and door-to-door drive. Last year, Camanche firefighters presented a check to WQAD for $10,343.28. Over the course of 50 years, the department has helped raise more than $200,000 for MDA. On Sept. 3, Camanche firefighters presented a check of $10,700 to WQAD-TV officials during the Labor Day Telethon for MDA.

Camanche Fire Chief Dave Schutte said the Camanche Volunteer Fire Department was very excited about this year’s total.

“This is our highest total in 50 years,” Schutte said. “Hopefully, there’s still room for improvement next year.”

Schutte said the Camanche community has been very supportive of the annual MDA drive.

“The city of Camanche has always been great and supported this cause,” Schutte said. “It’s just amazing, the amount of money raised for MDA from this community between our fund-raising drive and the Paasch basketball tournament.”

The 18th annual Camanche Days Muscular Dystrophy Association fund raiser included a three-day five-on-five basketball tournament, hog roast, gift basket raffle, cake auction, silent auction and a Kiss the Pig Contest, which was won by Chad Delzell. The event garnered more than $25,000 for MDA.

During Camanche Days, the fire department hosted its 28th annual Pancake Breakfast for Muscular Dystrophy and served more than 1,500 guests. Funds collected from the breakfast totaled $5,638. Schutte said the fire department would not be able to host the breakfast without the generous support of the many organizations, businesses and individuals who sponsor the event. “We really appreciate all of our sponsors and contributors, because we wouldn’t be able to make as much money for MDA as we can with their help,” he said. “We also thank all the volunteers, their families, the retired members and the guys from the Masonic Lodge. It takes a lot of man hours to put it together and make it work. They did a great job, just like they always do.”

At the breakfast, firefighters sold raffle chances on a Ducks Unlimited print, donated by Phil and Carol Allen. Funds collected from this raffle totaled $791. Camanche Assistant Chief Duane Wiese was drawn as the winner of the print at the fire station after the door-to-door drive.

On Aug. 19, firefighters, honorary firefighters and friends of the CVFD hosted the annual Catfish Fry for Muscular Dystrophy at Imperial Lanes in Camanche. During the potluck event, firefighters collected $771 in donations.

On Aug. 22, ast and present volunteer firefighters participated in the annual door-to-door MDA fund-raising drive. Due to inclement weather, firefighters were unable to complete their rounds through the city. Schutte said firefighters were able to stop at approximately 75 percent of the homes in Camanche before the collection was halted. Firefighters collected $3,500 in donations through the door-to-door drive.

Members of the CVFD presented the check to MDA officials on the WQAD-sponsored MDA Labor Day Telethon on Sept. 3. The funds will help MDA provide patient care services to people diagnosed with one of 43 neuromuscular diseases.

MDA’s programs include funding more than $800,000 of local research at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City; making payments and repairs on wheelchairs, leg braces and communication devices provided to patients; sending people ages 6 through 21 to MDA Summer Camp at Camp Courageous in Monticello; and providing support groups to the patients’ families.

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