Fort Payne Fire Department and the Wills Town Rats held their annual Muscular Dystrophy Association Benefit Ride last Saturday.

Since 2001, the Fort Payne Fire Department has partnered with the MDA to raise money for children affected by the disease. The benefit ride goes along with the Fort Payne Fire Department’s “Fill the Boot” fundraiser, also for muscular dystrophy.

The charity ride began at the Fort Payne Rotary Pavilion on Fifth Street. Over 35 riders participated, showing their support toward the MDA.

Fort Payne Fire Chief Ron Saferite said this year, the MDA organization needed the money more than ever due to the impact of COVID-19.

“I wanted to thank everybody for showing up for the benefit ride. It was one of the best showings we’ve ever had,” he said.

Saferite said this year, the FPFD raised $5,490 for the MDA.

“I want to thank the people of the community, the riders that rode and everybody that contributed and sponsored. We appreciate all of them,” he said.

The money raised at the benefit ride goes towards the MDA’s research and projects to help find a cure for the many different types of muscular dystrophy that affect children and adults.

Formed in 1950, the MDA spearheads efforts to transform the lives of people with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related neuromuscular diseases.

As reported by the mda.org, they fund groundbreaking research for promising treatments and provide families with the highest quality care from the country’s best doctors.

Joining the multitude of organizations whose fundraisers were cut short this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fire department had to cancel various events they typically hold throughout the year to help raise MDA funds.

Saferite said this year, the fire department was not able to hold their annual Fill the Boot fundraiser, which also helps to raise funds for MDA.

Following the benefit ride, Bike Night was held, featuring a performance by the local band Still KickiN, food, beverages and a cornhole tournament.

Saferite wants to thank the event’s many sponsors that contributed this year.

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