A low move soiled the beauty of Memorial Day for Boston Fire Department Engine 33 and Ladder 15 -- on Saturday night, someone stole the famous charity boot that was placed outside the station.
“It has happened before, not just here but at other firehouses all over the city, state country,” said Lt. JR Ortiz. “This might happen every other year or so at this firehouse.”
The firefighter boot is used to collect money for the Walsh-Kennedy Memorial Fund and muscular dystrophy.
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The donations display was bolted to the ground and weighed about 50-pounds, leaving firefighters to believe that there were more than one person involved in what was a planned theft.
“A lot of the money goes to the Muscular Dystrophy Association and to help a lot of families in Massachusetts who are wheelchair-bound,” Ortiz said. “It’s there to help find a cure and to help the kids as they’re growing up in the trials they go through.”
The money collected goes to two different charities: one for muscular dystrophy and the other to the Walsh-Kennedy Memorial Fund established for Lt. Ed Walsh and firefighter Michael Kennedy, who were killed in the massive fire at 298 Beacon St. in March 2014. Lt. Walsh and firefighter Kennedy were stationed at the iconic Engine 33 and Ladder 15 house. Firefighters nationwide collect money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
“You hear about these things happening all over, but it’s rare and it’s pretty low,” Ortiz said.
Memorial Day tends to be a good day for collection as it brings more foot traffic to the Boylston Street area. The firefighters did not know how much money was in the display at the time of the theft.
The Boston Fire Department tweeted, “This act is the rare exception to how supportive the people are.