The Calgary Journal
The Calgary Journal

Three days atop Boston Pizza roof helps fund muscular dystrophy research

Airdrie firefighters raise money Airdrie firefighters are all smiles as they count down their final hour of the 72-hour rooftop campout at the local Boston Pizza on 106 Sierra Springs Drive S.E.

On Sunday, Feb. 8 at noon, the four volunteers scale down the firetruck's crane and happily pack up their things, all four men saying the same word —"Shower."

Firefighter Mike Sullivan says their main goal was "raising awareness and money for muscular dystrophy." Sullivan says they accomplished just that, and they felt they had a lot more awareness this year than last.

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) has raised $275 million for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) since 1954. This is Airdrie's second time doing the fundraiser.

Firefighter Rob Dawson says the crew has no plans stopping now.

"So actual dollars in the boot, we actually raised quite a bit more than last year."

-Rob Dawson, Airdrie firefighter
"Hopefully it's an annual thing. It'll just be a different group of guys who go up," Dawson says, adding next year the foursome will volunteer in other ways to give some of the other firefighters the chance to experience the campout.

Rooftop camper Devon Stone says it was fun raising money, which at last count reached $14,200.

The firefighters noted cash donations have been higher this year, but that corporate sponsorship has been lower.

"So actual dollars in the boot, we actually raised quite a bit more than last year," Dawson said.Jess firefighters
(left to right) Devon Stone, Travis Smutt, Rob Dawson and Mike Sullivan ready for the final hour of their campout at the Boston Pizza on 106 Sierra Springs Drive S.E. on Sunday Feb, 8. 

Photo by Jessica Brady

Smiling broadly, Boston Pizza Manager Gurpreet Uppal says she's delighted to host once again, adding the best part is giving back to the community.

Customers swamp the restaurant because of the popularity of the event.

"Some of the firefighters have been mopping and cleaning tables," Uppal says.

Travis Smutt, the fourth member of the rooftop campers speaks about the difference between this year's  and last year's totals. With a laugh, he encourages local businesses to chip in even more. Even though the campout is over, it doesn't mean people need to stop donating.

"We need all the big businesses to kick in more money," Smutt says.