Residents help make Boot Drive a success

CONYERS -- Local residents came through, yet again, with their support of the Rockdale County Fire Division.

This year the RCFD was one of more than 100 fire departments in Georgia that participated in the 21st annual Give Burns the Boot fundraiser. Beginning May 1, the fund raiser was held over the first three Saturdays of the month, in support of the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation.

To collect money, Rockdale County firefighters were stationed each day at different intersections throughout the county, boot in hand. All donations collected through this fundraiser were put toward the promotion of burn awareness and prevention and to assist in the care of burn victims.

The county's economic decline brought initial concern for this year's outcome, said Sharon Webb, Boot Drive coordinator for the RCFD. However, residents came through and helped Rockdale County firefighters collect more than $12,000 in donations. This amount surpasses last year's total by more than $500 and makes this year the third consecutive year of increased donations.

"We would like to thank all of our citizens for their generous support," Webb said.

Overall, the Give Burns the Boot fundraiser is a way of supporting the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation's mission: To educate the public in burn awareness and prevention, to support medical facilities in the care of burns in Georgia and to assist burn survivors in their recovery.

However, residents are also contributing to their own community by making donations to the Boot Drive. A portion of the funds collected are given to the Rockdale County Fire Department to benefit local education and prevention efforts.

"Citizens really appreciate that our firefighters of Rockdale County take the time to help assist this organization that helps children," Webb said. "They really take to heart the firefighters and what they stand for."

Over the last 21 years, this event has raised more than $8 million statewide for the foundation.