Lieut. Blair Pinker, left, Brad Terragni, fire prevention officer, firefighter Jared MacLeod and the rest of Nanaimo’s firefighters are asking the public to pitch in to fight muscular dystrophy this weekend by donating to the Boot Drive. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Lieut. Blair Pinker, left, Brad Terragni, fire prevention officer, firefighter Jared MacLeod and the rest of Nanaimo’s firefighters are asking the public to pitch in to fight muscular dystrophy this weekend by donating to the Boot Drive. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Nanaimo firefighters are out to give muscular dystrophy the boot this weekend

Boot Drive will take place at Save-On-Foods Country Club Centre on Saturday, Nov. 21

Nanaimo’s firefighters are keeping their distance while putting their best foot forward to fight muscular dystrophy this month.

Firefighters will be at the Save-On-Foods entrance at Country Club Centre on Saturday, Nov. 21, when they’ll be asking the public to step up with donations for the Nanaimo Professional Firefighters Local 905 Charitable Society’s annual Boot Drive.

Filling the boot will be a bit different under COVID-19 conditions this year. The boot drive will only run one day this year, instead of over the entire weekend, and firefighters will only be at one location in the city instead of multiple sites. Save-On-Foods customers will also be able to make donations at the Country Club Centre store’s checkouts.

“Typically we go to multiple locations over the span of the weekend, but because of COVID we just thought that for our members and the public it would be better to do just one location and one day only,” said Brad Terragni, Nanaimo Fire Rescue fire prevention officer and boot drive spokesman. “We’ll be at the [store] front with the boot, which everyone has seen. We’re also going to have donation cans at the tills and we are working on doing a point-of-sale where people will be able to round up their grocery bill for a donation when they pay.”

People can also contribute online through Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s website at

Last year’s Boot Drive in Nanaimo raised about $12,000, but Terragni said how much money firefighters can raise this weekend is anyone’s guess.

“We don’t, so much, have a projection this year,” Terragni said. “It’s uncharted territory for us too, but we have a good feeling about having the jars at the tills and if we can do point-of-sale it will be interesting.”

Terragni said that even under pandemic conditions, Nanaimo firefighters still recognize the need for charitable work and for them to support the community.
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