Firefighters elevating research cause with rooftop campout

·3 min read

Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services and Lethbridge Firefighters Charities will be taking part in a rooftop campout to raise donations for Muscular Dystrophy Canada, going on September 8 – 11 at The Place downtown.

Alex McIntosh, Luke Richardson, Dawson Folk, Chris Ponce, and Braden Burton will stay up on the roof for four days and three nights coming down on Sunday.

With opening ceremonies held on Thursday, the event will host a $5 BBQ Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. followed by a band night 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. The festivities continue with a family day at the arcade Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a comedy night starting at 5 p.m. Campers will come down on Sunday.

It is hoped the event will raise around $20,000 dollars this year towards the cause. All events will be held at The Place on 420 6 St S.

“We are hosting our MD (muscular dystrophy) campout, an annual event that we’re getting going for the first time since 2019. It’s taking place over the whole weekend,” said McIntosh. “This campout, and all the firefighter rooftop campouts being hosted across Canada, are all to support Muscular Dystrophy Canada. One hundred per cent of all the proceeds we raise here through raffles and donations go to MD Canada.”

McIntosh notes it is important and meaningful to have people in the community support this cause to help those impacted by the disease, saying events like this raise awareness towards the cause and charities working towards a cure.

“We’ve been fortunate enough this year to have the event going on. We’re quite excited about it, trying to spread awareness, raise money. We have a lot of interest from the city, we’re really excited to be able to give back to something that’s important to us. There’s a lot of members of the community that have close ties to the causes,” said Richardson. “This is my first year with the event, brought on by the Lethbridge Firefighters Charity Association.”

Raising money for a worthy cause, the event will help aid with the fight against a disease that can inhibit one’s way of life and span over generations.

“Muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder. It has a very wide range of how it can affect you. Some cases are very debilitating, for some the life expectancy is quite low. Whereas some people live through it their whole life and just experience symptoms like pain and discomfort. Sometimes it’s the next generation that notices it, because it’s a genetic disease,” said McIntosh. “Anything that we can do to help further that development for a potential cure or treatment, is great. There’s not a ton of treatments right now.”

Money raised from donations and raffles will go towards the purchasing of mobility equipment, providing support services for those affected, and funding research towards a cure. Raffles will be held, with tickets available for purchase at The Place, and many big ticket items will be up for grabs, like a trip to Maui.

“We band together and really help each other out, especially when we’re able to give back that much more with the community and citizens that we serve. If we can do these kinds of events, get a lot of community engagement and involvement, it’s just as rewarding,” said Richardson.

Ryan Clarke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lethbridge Herald