The partnership between the Whitfield County Fire Department and Dalton Shriners – with a giant helping hand from local motorists - paid big dividends for youngsters again.
The county firefighters joined forces with the Dalton Shriners for the second year in a row, asking local motorists to drop donations into their boots during the partnership event known as “Whitfield Firefighters and Dalton Shriners Team Up for Kids.”
Residents dropped bills and change into boots on Sept. 23 at five intersections, including Cleveland Highway and the North Bypass, Cleveland Highway and Ga. Highway 2, Airport Road and Chatsworth Highway, Highway 41 and Connector 3, and Highway 201 and Highway 41.
The two groups praised motorists for their overwhelming generosity as they collected $19,749.12 – making a total of $39,765.11 over the past two years – quite an accomplishment for eight hours of work.
“On behalf of the county fire department and the Dalton Shriners, I’d like to give a big thank you to all the residents who opened their hearts and their pocketbooks to help us in our annual boot drive,” Lt. Chris West said. “Because of your generosity, we will be able to help more young people who suffer burn injuries, and we can help make Christmas brighter for underprivileged children in our county, too.”
Seventy-five percent of the money collected will go towards treating young burn victims at Shriners’ hospitals, including one in Cincinnati supported by the Dalton Shriners.
The other 25 percent will go toward a program coordinated by the Whitfield firefighters called “Santa in Uniform,” which will provide Christmas gifts for underprivileged children chosen by local agencies.
“We also want to give a huge thanks to Georgia United Credit Union and the ladies who counted all the money for us again for the seventh year in a row,” Lt. West said.
Over the past seven years, local residents have donated a total of $134,217 during the boot drives.