Three Williamson Valley firefighters served as camp counselors, coaches, and mentors at the annual Muscular Dystrophy Association camp in Payson earlier in June, Williamson Valley Fire District Chief Bryan Smith said.
Firefighters Jason Reedy, Sean Kauffman, and Brandon Rollins became friends with campers as they participated in events including soccer matches, petting zoos, and a talent show, Smith said. Each firefighter volunteered for a week, participated in camp activities with their assigned buddy, and hung out and got to know the children.
"It's really important for these kids to be able to forget about their medical issues for a while and just be a kid," Rollins said. "I am truly inspired by my buddy."
"These are really great kids who look forward to this camp every year," Reedy said. "This was my first year as a counselor, and I am excited to come back next year as well."
The camp is offered at no cost to campers thanks to community support of the MDA and dedicated volunteers, Smith said.
"The MDA has been one of the major International Association of Firefighter charities for over half a century with donations to "Fill the Boot" going to help find a cure for Muscular Dystrophy," Reedy said.
The International Association of Fire Fighters has raised millions of dollars year after year through Fill the Boot campaigns in which firefighters ask people to donate money to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Muscular Dystrophy is a classification of more than 40 different neuromuscular diseases all of which cause a gradual wasting of muscle tissue.