Socorro fire department hosts first MDA block party

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This Saturday, Aug. 25, Socorro Fire Department is hosting the first annual Muscular Dystrophy Association block party at the civic plaza.

At the event, there will be a deejay, food vendors and a block party with a volleyball tournament held in Sedillo Park, Amaro said. There will be first through third prizes of t-shirts for the teams.

In the past, the firefighters participated in the Socorro County fair parade and raised money for MDA with a jump balloon and dunk tank.

According to the KidsHealth website, muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder that weakens the muscles that help the body move. The MDA website states the agency is dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.

Firefighters put the money that is collected in boots for donations to give to MDA, said firefighter Mario Amaro. This is the association’s national fundraiser and for 10 years the Socorro Fire Department has participated with raising money for MDA, said Fire Chief Joe Gonzales.

“We want something for people to have fun,” Amaro said.

At the event, there will be a raffle for a helicopter ride. The funds raised help children affected by muscular dystrophy attend camps and pay for medical bills, and all the money helps kids in New Mexico. For 33 years, the Firefighter Association has been involved with MDA. There is also a VIP day when the firefighters spend time with children who have muscular dystrophy.

“They are great kids who have a positive attitude,” Amaro said.

The Socorro Fire Department, city of Socorro, Midway Fire Department, San Antonio, PHI Air Medical Inc., and the Socorro County Fire Marshal’s Office work together to raise money for MDA.

Last year, $700 was raised, less than the previous year due to the economy, Amaro said. This year, the goal is to raise $3,000.

Firefighter Josh Gonzales said the goal of the event is to raise money for MDA and community awareness of muscular dystrophy.

Money raised during this event will be presented to MDA on Monday, Sept. 3. People can also call and donate money during Labor Day weekend at KRQE Channel 13 news in Albuquerque.