The Tradition of Fill the Boot

La version française suit.

Over the years Canadian Fire Fighters, our biggest supporters have helped Muscular Dystrophy Canada to continue to fund research, provide essential services and equipment to people affected by neuromuscular disorders.   Our long standing and strong partnership continues to be a historical pillar.  Throughout our history and to this day, Fire Fighters have been creative in their fundraising efforts.  Fire Fighters have had chicken wing eating contests, car washes, motorcycle rides but the most recognizable and used is the Fill the Boot campaign or the Fire Fighter Boot Toll.  Even with newer events like the Rooftop Campouts money is still largely collected in a Fire Fighter’s boot.

Below is a photo from the Muscular Dystrophy Reporter Spring Issue from 1966, showcasing the, “new amusing technique of receiving contributions.”

Band Concert FtB spring issue 1966 p3

The Fill the Boot has its roots dating back to the early 1950s in the Boston, Massachusetts area of the United States of America, a Fire Fighter came across a colleague who was with an old friend. The friend had two sons, both affected by neuromuscular disorders, who needed money for their care. With canisters in hand, the Fire Fighters raised $5,000. This grew Boston-wide, and during the International Association of Fire Fighters 22nd convention in 1954, the original fundraisers from Boston campaigned for the cause. The IAFF set up the partnership with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which was also inherited by the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada soon after its founding.

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La tradition des barrages routiers

Au cours des années, les pompiers canadiens, nos plus fidèles alliés, ont aidé Dystrophie musculaire Canada à financer la recherche et à fournir des services essentiels et des aides techniques aux personnes touchées par une maladie neuromusculaire. Ce partenariat de longue date continue d’être un pilier de notre histoire. Si, au fil des ans, les pompiers ont toujours fait preuve de beaucoup d’ingéniosité pour recueillir des fonds (concours de mangeurs d’ailes de poulet, lave-o-thons, tournées à moto, etc.), le moyen le plus souvent utilisé et le plus facilement reconnaissable est sans conteste le barrage routier. Même dans le cadre des plus récents événements-bénéfice, par exemple les campings sur le toit, c’est encore le barrage routier qui, le plus souvent, sert à récolter des fonds.

La photo ci-dessous, tirée du numéro du printemps 1966 du Muscular Dystrophy Reporter, montre cette « nouvelle technique amusante de recueillir les contributions ». (en anglais seulement)

Band Concert FtB spring issue 1966 p3

Les barrages routiers remontent au début des années 1950. Dans la région de Boston, au Massachusetts, un pompier rencontra un ami de longue date, lui aussi pompier, dont les deux garçons étaient atteints d’une maladie neuromusculaire. Le père ayant besoin d’argent pour payer leurs soins, les deux collègues se mirent à tendre leur tirelire aux passants et réussirent ainsi à recueillir la somme de 5 000 $. Très vite, cette pratique s’est répandue dans toute la ville et en 1954, lors du 22e congrès de l’International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), les deux pompiers de Boston firent campagne pour leur cause. L’IAFF s’est alors associée à la Muscular Dystrophy Association américaine pour se transférer par la suite à l’Association canadienne de la dystrophie musculaire, peu de temps après sa fondation.

Filling Boots in Sudbury

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Fire Fighters organize events year-round and help raise funds in support of those affected by neuromuscular disorders.   The most successful fundraiser is the Fill the Boot.  Fire Fighters hold out their boots in parking lots, in front of stores and even on the streets and ask the generous public if they would like to voluntarily make a donation.  The Sudbury Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 527 has been involved with Muscular Dystrophy Canada since 1972, and to date have raised $471,071.74! This year, with the help of local resident Kathy, Sudbury PFFA raised $34,120.20!

Kathy’s family is affected by neuromuscular disorders so she is very passionate about the great work Fire Fighters do for those affected.  She saves her money so she can visit their annual Fill the Boot and give a generous donation.  As a way to thank her, the Fire Fighters from Local 527 invited Kathy to spend an afternoon with them in their main station in late November.

IMG_2322Kathy says, “From the extensive tour of the station, to the company of such thoughtful individuals who give so freely to a cause they believe in, to the honour of breaking bread with such special people, to my privileged ride on the most mammoth piece of equipment, I’ve ever ridden in, to the totally unexpected gift of the magnificent flowers and the very touching greeting card– my word, how special you all made this woman feel yesterday!

I was particularly delighted to see that one of the pictures captured precisely the little girl thrill I felt to find myself on the hook and ladder!

My home wafts with the delightful smell of those glorious flowers and when I close my eyes, I smile and remember all those handsome faces with whom I shared time on November 28th.

Scott, please ensure that your colleagues in SPFFA Local 527 know that they qualify as heroes because they care so deeply about the community they serve. It was a pleasure to meet so many of the Fire Fighters who help Fill the Boot.  I trust that I communicated my deep gratitude to all present for their commitment to finding a cure to those neuromuscular disorders, including the variety that affects my family. Hopefully, the members now have a personal ‘face’ to attach to their efforts!

We have a target to beat next September… I’ve already begun saving!”

IMG_2316Scott Roper, the Muscular Dystrophy Canada Chairperson for Sudbury PFFA responded to Kathy by saying, “­­­­­­ You are most welcome and it was nice to have finally met you.  Thursday was just a small token to what you have given back to this community over the last few years and for that, we are thankful for it.  I was saying to my wife the other night, seeing you on Thursday and watching how happy you were, makes my decision 15 years ago to become a Fire Fighter, worth every penny and heartache to achieve my goal.  Helping out in the community is the most beneficial part of our job and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Thanks again and look forward to seeing you next year, at the Fill the Boot.  Maybe you could collect some money with us for a few minutes.”

Thank you to Kathy and the Fire Fighters from Sudbury PFFA Local 527 for sharing your amazing experience with us! We are grateful for your generosity and to the people of Sudbury who donated to the Fill the Boot campaign.

 

Then and Now

stephen rysen-2012 walk for md

Living with Muscular Dystrophy has to involve a positive attitude. There are lots of obstacles with Muscular Dystrophy that include the loss of strength and mobility, loss of friends with Muscular Dystrophy, fear and depression. But there are ways to overcome this by becoming proactive and helping others with Muscular Dystrophy. Muscular Dystrophy Canada has provided me the opportunity to become proactive by allowing my participation in their fundraising events and Muscular Dystrophy Firefighter Conventions. Therefore it has provided positive energy for me and allowed my dream to come true as a public speaker.

Stephen Rysen and Tina Rysen- 1995 FF ConferenceI started speaking at 12 when I became a Muscular Dystrophy Canada Campaign Assistant which involved an interview for the annual Labour Day telethon to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy. Although it did not appear on television it opened the doors for more opportunities for involvement with Muscular Dystrophy Canada. I participated in my first Muscular Dystrophy Firefighter Convention and did my first ever speech. The speech is one I will never forget. I was on stage after watching a comedian, which caused me laugh during my speech when I lost track from the notes I was reading from. But I was able to improvise and finish my speech. Furthermore I rebounded with a speech at a charity golf tournament for Muscular Dystrophy Canada to say thanks to the people for attending and the people that made it happen.  I have done four other presentations at Muscular Dystrophy Firefighter Conventions which included 2 speeches for the Muscular Dystrophy Canada career program named Bridges to the Future and 2 speeches about life with Muscular Dystrophy. The two speeches about my life story with Muscular Dystrophy have been successful that I have gone to the Justice Institute of British Columbia to talk to future firefighters about the firefighters’ tradition of fundraising for Muscular Dystrophy Canada. Speaking at an early age has given me the confidence to still speak at conferences and speaking engagements today.

I have given back to Muscular Dystrophy Canada: by fundraising, by visiting and advertising boot drives, by shooting a client video, by participating in a Shell Buzzy fundraiser and doing a ceremonial puck drop between Ryan Walter and Ron Duguay at a celebrity pro-am charity hockey game. Muscular Dystrophy Canada is a helpful foundation that I am thankful for because of their efforts to fight this disease. But I’m also here to help others live Muscular Dystrophy. Therefore I assist Muscular Dystrophy Canada by attracting more donations by providing awareness through fundraising and public speaking.

stephen rysen-2011 walk for mdWhen fundraising or going to speaking engagements it gives me a chance to provide uplifting positive energy onto others. Therefore people want to know where the money is going and how to receive more donations. People with Muscular Dystrophy need positive energy to shine over the dark cloud. Talking about the negative parts of Muscular Dystrophy provides me the strength to provide positive energy to become proactive by attracting others to help people with Muscular Dystrophy. Furthermore getting money donated to this organization can provide abilities with equipment, career counseling, support groups, support programs and provide much needed research programs and trials. Being able to talk to people makes me fortunate to continue my dream of speaking and provides me positive energy to be thankful to be alive because of people being proactive against Muscular Dystrophy.

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Stephen Rysen is a 30 year old with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. He has been volunteering with Muscular Dystrophy Canada since 1995, and continues to be spread awareness today by getting involved in the fire department, speaking to new fire fighter recruits, speaking at fire fighter conferences, and fundraising in the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy. Stephen has been named the 2014 Vancouver Safeway Walk for Muscular Dystrophy Ambassador. His positive attitude continues to inspire everyone around him. 

Register for a Walk near you today!

2014 Walk for Muscular Dystrophy Contest highlights Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s 60 Years of Progress

The 2014 Walk for Muscular Dystrophy season is fast-approaching so it’s time to get registered and kick-start your fundraising efforts. To recognize Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s 60th year, 60 Walk for Muscular Dystrophy events will be taking place across the country. In honour of the occasion, we are holding a new contest!

ipad2Register and raise $60 online at least 60 days before your local Walk for Muscular Dystrophy event and you will be entered for a chance to win an iPad!

Some Ontario Walk for Muscular Dystrophy events are coming up quickly! Raise your $60 by February 26th for the NEW Guelph & Area event, by February 27th for the Windsor Walk and by March 4th for the Toronto Walk to be entered for a chance to win! Be sure to register today!

If you have any questions about the contest, feel free to get in touch with us a walkformusculardystrophy.on@muscle.ca or 1-866-687-2538 ext 131.

We look forward to seeing you at this year’s Walk for Muscular Dystrophy events!

A Family Connection

md2[1]La version française suit.

For one Muscular Dystrophy Canada family, the connection to the organization goes back almost 60 years. Ken Killen was a career Fire Fighter with the Kingston Fire Department, and began volunteering with the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada in the late 1950s, a connection that carries on today through his daughter Debra Chiabai, and grandchildren Alex and Kate.

“My father was a career Fire Fighter in Kingston. He often had part time jobs in his off hours (bus driver, photographer, taxi driver) since in the early years it was not a particularly well paid job. Even though he was very busy with his full and part time work, he always made time to volunteer. The Fire Fighter charity of choice, then as now, was the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada,” remembers Debra. “I know he had a leadership role which I think would now be called Fire Fighter Advisor, but I’m not sure if that was just for his department or if it was more regional. He was responsible for a number of years for running the Kingston Telethon Centre and he also made frequent trips to the televised location in Watertown, New York to speak on behalf of Fire Fighters, co-host and to receive and deliver cheques. He would also take co-lead/coordinate the local canister drive and other events like McHappy Day. He also dressed up as a clown for fundraising events and to participate in the annual Kingston Santa Claus parade.”

md1[1]Debra would help out her dad with his volunteering duties when she could, “I loved to count the change from canisters. The mountain of change on the dining room table always looked huge and it was fun to see it slowly turn into rolls of coins. I became a really proficient roller of coins.”

“I also remember helping out with collecting coins at McHappy Day. I was quite young but I remember being struck by how drawn he was, in particular, to interacting with the children with muscular dystrophy. He was a natural both in knowing best how to help them while also giving them respect and a sense of dignity. I also remember answering the phones at the telethon at quite a young age and being very proud that MY Dad was on TV or running operations at the telethon centre.”

Her close interaction volunteering with her dad left a big impression, “I don’t really remember him specifically teaching me about muscular dystrophy or the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada, but I gained a lot of impressions and attitudes about volunteering, and respect for people with disabilities through watching him interact with both people with disabilities and his peers. I was always aware of his leadership role and his mentoring of younger firefighters to get them involved in the cause. He also was never afraid to ask people for donations or services to help the cause.”

.facebook_291828501Debra took what she learned from her father with her through her life, volunteering at Telethons, and getting involved with other charities and mentoring programs when she moved away from Kingston. When Debra and her husband Lawrence welcomed twins Alex and Kate in 2000, she did not know that the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada was going to once again play a role in their life.

In 2003, Debra’s son Alex was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Within two months of the diagnosis, Debra began volunteering with the Ottawa Chapter. “After Alex was diagnosed I knew two things: I needed information and I needed to do something to help the cause. Partially it was a way to network and get information, but I also knew I needed to get involved in finding a cure and in helping others.  It had to mean more than just what was happening to our family.”

As she became more involved in the Chapter, Debra realized that there were leadership opportunities within the organization. “I was very interested in the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee so I started there, and then I was approached to be Ontario Chapter Advisor, and then National Chapter Advisor. I am not sure I would have put myself forward to be nominated to the Board because I did not feel particularly qualified, but now that I am on the Board I really enjoy being involved in the process of ensuring we do the best job everyday of delivering on our mission and vision. I also feel privileged to work with my fellow board members – a group of amazing and dedicated people.”

As the National Chapter Advisor, Debra chairs the Chapter Advisory Committee and reports back to the Board. She is also a member of the Executive Committee, representing volunteers and chapters, and a member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee. “In all these roles, I attend meetings and conferences and provide support to volunteers and support the success of the organization in any way possible. I also attend international and national conferences as a volunteer representative of Muscular Dystrophy Canada. In the past two years I have been involved in meetings with the advocacy activities and conferences with the Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders, a national meeting for paediatric endocrinology, a national meeting for neuromuscular researchers, and the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy annual conference.”

What does Alex think of the family’s long-standing relationship with Muscular Dystrophy Canada?

IMG1830“I think Alex finds it comforting that it has been a part of our family for a very long time. My father died when Alex was a year old which was 1 ½ years before Alex was diagnosed. I often say that if my father was still alive he would be one of Alex’s champions and an avid volunteer for MDC. I think Alex finds comfort in knowing he has the organization behind him and supporting him. As a younger child he was eager to participate in awareness and media events. Now that he is older, he is a bit shyer about appearing publically.”

“Alex’s twin sister Kate has become a great fundraiser and volunteer for MDC because of her brother. She heads up our family and friends team each year for the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy and proudly displays our top team plaque on the wall of her room. She loves to volunteer and really sees what a difference it can make in the lives of those with neuromuscular disorders. I think she also likes volunteering like Grandpa did.”

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Une tradition familiale

md2[1]Pour une famille de Dystrophie musculaire Canada, le lien avec l’organisation remonte à près de 60 ans. Ken Killen, un pompier du Service d’incendie de Kingston, a commencé à être bénévole pour l’Association canadienne de la dystrophie musculaire vers la fin des années 1950, une tradition que perpétue encore aujourd’hui sa fille, Debra Chiabai, et ses petits-enfants, Alex et Kate.

« Mon père était pompier à Kingston. Il a souvent occupé des emplois à temps partiel dans ses heures libres (chauffeur d’autobus, photographe, chauffeur de taxi). Il faut se rappeler que dans ces années-là, être pompier n’était pas particulièrement bien payé. Même si ses emplois à temps plein et à temps partiel le tenaient très occupé, il trouvait toujours le temps de faire du bénévolat. L’organisme caritatif privilégié par les pompiers, à cette époque comme aujourd’hui, était l’Association canadienne de la dystrophie musculaire, relate Debra. Je sais qu’il occupait un poste de responsabilité, ce qui équivaut aujourd’hui au rôle de représentant des pompiers, mais je ne suis pas certaine s’il était représentant de son service d’incendie ou des pompiers de sa région. Pendant plusieurs années, il a été chargé du centre d’appels de Kingston pour le Téléthon Jerry Lewis et il se rendait souvent à Watertown, New York, d’où était télévisé le téléthon, pour parler au nom des pompiers, agir comme animateur et recevoir et remettre des chèques. Il codirigeait aussi la campagne des tirelires de Kingston et d’autres activités comme le Grand McDon. Enfin, il se déguisait en clown lors d’activités-bénéfice et pour participer au défilé annuel du Père Noël de Kingston. »

md1[1]Debra aidait son père dans ses activités bénévoles chaque fois qu’elle le pouvait. « J’aimais bien compter la monnaie dans les tirelires. La montagne de monnaie sur la table de la salle à manger avait toujours l’air énorme et c’était amusant de la voir se transformer lentement en rouleaux. Je suis devenue très efficace à rouler des sous. »

« Je me rappelle aussi d’avoir aidé mon père à ramasser des dons au Grand McDon. J’étais très jeune mais je me rappelle avoir été frappée de voir sa façon d’interagir avec les gens, mais surtout avec les enfants atteints de dystrophie musculaire. Il avait vraiment un don, tant pour savoir la meilleure façon de les aider que pour leur donner du respect et un sens de la dignité. Je me rappelle aussi avoir répondu au téléphone lors du téléthon alors que j’étais encore très jeune. J’étais très fière que MON père passe à la télé et dirige les opérations au centre d’appels du téléthon. »

Être associée de près aux activités bénévoles de son père a fortement impressionné Debra : « Je ne me rappelle pas vraiment que mon père ait voulu m’enseigner quoi que ce soit sur la dystrophie musculaire ou sur l’Association canadienne de la dystrophie musculaire, mais j’ai beaucoup appris sur le bénévolat et le respect des personnes handicapées en le voyant agir, tant avec les personnes atteintes qu’avec ses collègues. J’étais toujours consciente de son rôle de leader et de mentor auprès des pompiers plus jeunes pour les inciter à s’impliquer pour la cause. Il n’avait jamais peur non plus de solliciter des dons ou des services pour aider la cause. »

Debra a conservé les leçons apprises de son père toute sa vie, devenant bénévole pour les téléthons et s’impliquant auprès d’autres organismes caritatifs et programmes de mentorat après avoir quitté Kingston. Lorsqu’en 2000, Debra et son mari, Lawrence, eurent leurs jumeaux, Alex et Kate, elle ne se doutait pas que l’Association canadienne de la dystrophie musculaire allait à nouveau jouer un rôle dans sa vie.

.facebook_291828501En 2003, Alex recevait un diagnostic de dystrophie musculaire de Duchenne. Deux mois plus tard, Debra devenait bénévole à la section locale d’Ottawa. « Après le diagnostic d’Alex, je savais deux choses : j’avais besoin d’information et j’avais besoin de faire quelque chose pour aider la cause. En partie, c’était une façon pour moi de réseauter et d’avoir de l’information, mais je savais aussi que j’avais besoin de m’impliquer dans la lutte aux maladies neuromusculaires et d’aider d’autres personnes. Il fallait que ce qui arrivait à ma famille ait un sens plus large. »

À mesure qu’elle s’impliquait davantage dans les activités de la section locale, Debra réalisait qu’il y avait au sein de l’organisme de nombreuses fonctions de responsabilité pour des bénévoles. « J’étais très intéressée par le Comité consultatif scientifique et médical, alors c’est là que j’ai commencé. Et puis on m’a demandé de devenir représentante des sections locales de l’Ontario, puis représentante nationale. Je ne suis pas certaine que j’aurais moi-même osé proposer ma candidature au conseil, parce que je ne me sentais pas particulièrement qualifiée, mais à présent que je siège au conseil, j’aime beaucoup contribuer à réaliser chaque jour notre mission et notre vision. Je me considère aussi privilégiée de travailler avec mes collègues du conseil d’administration, un groupe de personnes extraordinairement engagées. »

À titre de représentante nationale des sections locales, Debra préside le Comité consultatif des relations avec les sections locales et fait rapport des activités de celui-ci au conseil. Elle fait aussi partie du comité exécutif où elle représente les bénévoles et les sections locales et est membre du Comité consultatif scientifique et médical. « Dans tous ces rôles, je participe à des rencontres et des conférences et soutient les bénévoles et le succès de l’organisation de toutes les façons possibles. Je participe aussi aux conférences internationales et nationales à titre de représentante bénévole de Dystrophie musculaire Canada. Au cours des deux dernières années, j’ai participé aux réunions et conférences sur la défense des droits et l’action sociale d’une organisation canadienne pour les maladies rares, à une rencontre nationale d’endocrinologie pédiatrique, à une rencontre de chercheurs du domaine des maladies neuromusculaires, et à la conférence annuelle du PPMD (Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, États-Unis.) »

Que pense Alex de la relation de longue date de sa famille avec Dystrophie musculaire Canada?

IMG1830« Je crois qu’il est réconfortant pour Alex que cela fasse partie de notre famille depuis si longtemps. Mon père est décédé lorsqu’Alex avait un an, c’est-à-dire un an et demi avant qu’il ne reçoive son diagnostic. Je dis souvent que si mon père était encore vivant, il serait l’un des plus grands champions d’Alex et un bénévole chevronné de DMC. Je crois qu’il est aussi réconfortant pour Alex de savoir que l’organisation est derrière lui et qu’elle l’appuie. Plus jeune, il était toujours prêt à participer aux campagnes de sensibilisation et aux événements média. À présent qu’il est plus vieux, il est un peu plus gêné de se montrer en public. »

« Kate, la sœur jumelle d’Alex, est devenue une bénévole accomplie et recueille des fonds pour DMC. C’est elle qui dirige chaque année notre équipe de parents et d’amis pour la Dystromarche et c’est sur le mur de sa chambre qu’est affichée notre plaque de « Meilleure équipe ». Elle adore être bénévole et voir les changements concrets que son implication apporte à la vie des personnes qui ont une maladie neuromusculaire. Je crois qu’elle aime aussi savoir qu’elle suit dans les pas de son grand-père. »

Jerry Lewis: A Champion of Awareness

Jerry speakingLa version française suit.

The Jerry Lewis Telethon was a staple over Labour Day weekend for many years, and raising billions of dollars, and awareness for neuromuscular disorders from all across North America. For many of these  years,  local call centres were set up across Canada, and provided local content for viewers in Canada. It was a huge undertaking for everyone involved, but it was always a highlight of the year. In 2010, Lewis hosted his last Telethon, though the show still continues as the ‘MDA Show of Strength.’

Later this month, on February 28th, Jerry Lewis will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Hollywood’s union publicists.The award celebrates Lewis’s large body of work in the entertainment industry, as well as his storied work with Muscular Dystrophy Canada, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and Jerry’s Kids.

Below is a press release that was published on August 30, 1974, at the peak of the Telethon popularity, announcing that there will be more Canadian pledge centres than previous years:

Six Canadian Cities Host Pledge Centres for Jerry Lewis Telethon

TORONTO: Canadians watching the Jerry Lewis Telethon to raise money to fight muscular dystrophy on Labour Day this year will be able to telephone pledge centres in six Canadian cities. This is an increase of two since last year and is up from two pledge centres in 1972.

In operation for the full length of the Telethon, the centres will be manned by more than 800 volunteers from 10:30 p.m. Sunday September 1 until 6:30 p.m. Monday, September 2.

The pledge centres will be located as follows: For viewers of WGR-TV, in Hamilton, where the toll free number will be 800-263-9944. For viewers of WWNY-TV (Watertown,) in Ottawa, where the toll free number will be 613-238-2811.

For viewers of WWNY-TV, in Kingston, Ontario, the toll free number will be 613-549-3300. For viewers of WWNY-TV, in Brockville, Ontario, the toll free number will be 613-342-8721.

The two new pledge centres will be reached as follows: for Vancouver area viewers of KSTW-TV, dial 604-433-3211. For Winnipeg area viewers of KCND, dial 204-755-0221. Both numbers will be toll free.

All money pledged by Canadians to fight muscular dystrophy will remain in Canada to help finance Canadian research projects and to provide more patient services.

Muscular dystrophy is a disease that in more than 50 per cent of all cases afflicts only boys, first crippling them and then shortening their lives to an average of just 20 years. The Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada spends its money on trying to find a cure for the terrible illness and to continue its services to patients.

The Jerry Lewis Telethon will originate from the Space Centre at the Hotel Sahara in Las Vegas and will be carried by 172 television stations. More than 120 celebrities have already signed to appear on the Show which will include live pickups from Nashville and New York.

Jerry Lewis says he expects that by show time, more than 150 stars will agree to appear.

Among those who are scheduled to join Jerry Lewis and anchorman Ed McMahon in Las Vegas are Anna Maria Alberghetti, Jack Benny, John Davidson, Fats Domino, Chad Everett, Totie Fields, the Mickey Finn Show, David Hartman, Joey Hetherton, Arte Johnson, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Michel LeGrand, Ida Lupino, Johnny Mathis, Jan Murray, Jim Nabors, Louise Nettleton, Wayne Newton, George Segal, Susan Strasberg, Mel Tormé, Jerry Vale and Dionne Warwicke.

The Nashville segment of the Telethon will be hosted by Johnny Cash. His guests include the Nashville Brass, Bobby Goldsboro, Dolly Parton and Charlie Rich.

The New York Show will be hosted by Dorothy Collins. Among those scheduled to appear with her are Muhammad Ali, Sammy Cahn, Godfrey Cambridge, Carol Channing, the Electric Company, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Richie Havens, Helen Hayes, Aliza Kashi, B.B. King, La Lupe, Julius LaRosa, Kay Medford, Soupy Sales and Enzo Stuarti.

Behind the scenes at telethon locations throughout Canada and the United States, over 100,000 volunteers will run more than 1,000 pledge centres.

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Jerry Lewis, un champion de la sensibilisation

Jerry speakingLe Téléthon Jerry Lewis a été une tradition du week-end de la fête du Travail pendant de nombreuses années, sensibilisant l’ensemble du public nord-américain aux maladies neuromusculaires et recueillant des milliards de dollars pour cette cause. Pendant plusieurs de ces années, des centres d’appels étaient en fonction dans diverses localités canadiennes, offrant un contexte local aux téléspectateurs canadiens, un travail énorme pour toutes les personnes impliquées mais toujours un point fort de l’année. En 2010, Jerry Lewis a animé son dernier téléthon, bien que l’émission se poursuive toujours sous l’appellation « MDA Show of Strength » à l’initiative de la MDA, l’association américaine de la dystrophie musculaire.

Plus tard ce mois-ci, le 28 février, le syndicat des publicitaires d’Hollywood remettra à Jerry Lewis un Prix d’excellence pour l’ensemble de ses réalisations, soulignant la place importante de ce comédien dans l’industrie du divertissement mais aussi son appui colossal à Dystrophie musculaire Canada, à la Muscular Dystrophy Association américaine et aux « enfants de Jerry ».

Voici un communiqué de presse publié le 30 août 1974, alors que la popularité du Téléthon Jerry Lewis atteignait son sommet, indiquant qu’il y aurait plus de centres d’appel canadiens que les années passées pour recueillir les dons du public.

Des centres d’appels dans six villes canadiennes pour le Téléthon Jerry Lewis

TORONTO — Cette année, les téléspectateurs canadiens du Téléthon Jerry Lewis, qui vise à recueillir des dons pour lutter contre la dystrophie musculaire le jour de la fête du Travail, auront la possibilité de faire un don par téléphone dans six villes du Canada, soit deux centres de plus que l’an dernier et quatre de plus que la première fois en 1972.

En fonction pendant toute la durée du Téléthon, plus de 800 bénévoles assureront la bonne marche des opérations de 22 h 30 le dimanche 1er septembre à 18 h 30 le lundi 2 septembre.

Voici les numéros pour joindre les centres d’appels : pour les téléspectateurs de WGT-TV à Hamilton, le numéro sans frais est le 800 263-9944; pour les téléspectateurs de WWNY-TV (Watertown) à Ottawa, le numéro sans frais est le 613 238-2811.

Les téléspectateurs de WWNY-TV à Kingston, Ontario, doivent composer sans frais le 613 549-3300, tandis que ceux de WWNY-TV à Brockville, Ontario composeront sans frais le 613 342-8721.

Les deux nouveaux centres d’appels pourront être joints comme suit : les téléspectateurs de KSTW-TV dans la région de Vancouver pourront composer le 604 433-3211 et ceux de KCND dans la région de Winnipeg composeront le 204 755-0221, le tout sans frais.

Les sommes recueillies au Canada pour lutter contre la dystrophie musculaire demeureront au pays pour aider à financer des projets de recherche canadiens et fournir des services à un plus grand nombre de patients.

La dystrophie musculaire est une maladie qui, dans plus de 50 % de tous les cas, n’affecte que les garçons, les rendant d’abord infirmes puis abrégeant leur vie à tout juste 20 ans en moyenne. L’Association canadienne de la dystrophie musculaire dépense son argent pour essayer de trouver un moyen de guérir cette terrible maladie et pour continuer à donner des services aux patients.

Le Téléthon Jerry Lewis sera diffusé à partir du Space Centre de l’hôtel Sahara de Las Vegas et sera relayée par 172 stations de télévision. Plus de 120 célébrités ont déjà confirmé leur présence à l’émission qui comprendra des segments en direct de Nashville et New York.

Jerry Lewis s’attend à ce qu’au moment de la diffusion du Téléthon, plus de 150 vedettes auront accepté d’y participer.

Parmi celles dont la présence est prévue aux côtés de Jerry Lewis et du présentateur vedette Ed McMahon à Las Vegas, mentionnons Anna Maria Alberghetti, Jack Benny, John Davidson, Fats Domino, Chad Everett, Totie Fields, the Mickey Finn Show, David Hartman, Joey Hetherton, Arte Johnson, Steve Lawrence et Eydie Gorme, Michel LeGrand, Ida Lupino, Johnny Mathis, Jan Murray, Jim Nabors, Louise Nettleton, Wayne Newton, George Segal, Susan Strasberg, Mel Tormé, Jerry Vale and Dionne Warwick.

Le segment de Nashville sera animé par Johnny Cash. Le Nashville Brass, Bobby Goldsboro, Dolly Parton et Charlie Rich seront au nombre des invités.

Le spectacle de New York sera animé par Dorothy Collins et devrait recevoir Muhammad Ali, Sammy Cahn, Godfrey Cambridge, Carol Channing, The Electric Company, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Richie Havens, Helen Hayes, Aliza Kashi, B.B. King, La Lupe, Julius LaRosa, Kay Medford, Soupy Sales et Enzo Stuarti.

En coulisse aux divers emplacements du téléthon au Canada et aux États-Unis, plus de 100 000 bénévoles assureront le fonctionnement de plus de 1 000 centres d’appels.

Team Junior is gearing up for another exciting year at Walk for Muscular Dystrophy!

My name is Melissa Basil and this will be my 5th time participating in the annual WaterlooBasil Family Region Walk for Muscular Dystrophy! My family and I are very excited to be participating once again this year because this Walk is a great way to raise awareness of neuromuscular disorders such as MD. It is also a great way to meet other families who may be experiencing the same triumphs and challenges as we do; families who understand our story.  Originally, I decided to participate in this annual Walk because I thought it would be a great way to support my younger brother, Junior, who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at the age of 5. Now, Junior is 19 years old and I feel it is important to continue to show him my support, hence I come out every year. Not only have I been participating in this Walk, but my family as well as my extended family and friends have continued to participate and show support for this cause. Each year our team (team Junior) has gotten bigger and bigger! We feel that it is important to participate and fundraise because not only are we raising awareness and making connections with others in our community, but we are also raising funds that will aid families who need equipment as well as research for a cure which is something we have longed for, for many years.

The Walk for Muscular Dystrophy is not only a Walk to raise awareness and fundraise, but it is also a fantastic way to build and strengthen the community! It’s always a great feeling meeting a family who is experiencing the same challenges as mine and knowing that we are not alone in this fight against MD.  It is lovely to see families connecting at these Walk events, forming life-long friendships.

My participation in the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy has made me feel great in the fact that I know I have supported a great cause. I feel satisfied in knowing that I am helping other families like mine receive the assistance they need. It also makes me feel more hopeful that a cure may just be around the corner! Please join my family and I as we participate in the 2014 Walk for Muscular Dystrophy!

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Melissa Basil has been participating in the Waterloo Region Walk for Muscular Dystrophy since its inception. She walks with her team of family and friends in support of her younger brother, Junior. Melissa joined the volunteer planning committee last year and enjoys being a part of this community event.