Firefighters helping to raise money for MDA given the ‘boot’ by FMB

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- Fort Myers Beach firefighters raising money for a good cause are given the “boot” by the town.

For years, firefighters have been collecting money for MDA’s “Fill the Boot” campaign in the area of Estero Boulevard and Fifth Avenue. Friday, they were in a new spot.

WINK News found out, traffic and safety are the concerns and locals are not happy.

“My gut reaction was disbelief, total shock.”

Robin Schuckert, one of the owners of Bayside Grille on San Carlos Boulevard says she is outraged because for the first time, firefighters are in a new location for MDA’s ‘Fill the Boot’ drive, San Carlos Boulevard and Buttonwood.

“People know what it is and what it’s for and nobody, as far as I know, has minded it or had a problem with it.”

Schuckert supports the boot drive, so much so, her restaurant is donating all the food to feed the crews working for a good cause.

“If we can help them then we are happy,” Schuckert told WINK News.

The county stepped in after the Town of Fort Myers Beach denied the permit to allow firefighters to collect money in the area of Estero Boulevard and Fifth Avenue.

“In Times Square and those areas, there is so many people and they could benefit so much more for MDA.”

WINK News got our hands on a letter from the town that specifically says…”with the recent crossing guard being struck by a car, I feel that there is a serious public safety issue as well as the inconvenience of slowing traffic even more.”

“We made a decision saying it was safer not to have it that particular location.” said Tildon Copeland, Public Services Supervisor for Fort Myers Beach.

The Fort Myers Beach fire chief tells WINK News, in the 16 years he’s been on the beach, nothing has gone wrong in that area, during the campaign.

“If it’s safety, people make unsafe decisions all the time, it’s not the firemen’s faults, they are trying to do something good.”

Every penny donated by the community goes to send kids like with Muscular Dystrophy to camp, fund research and pay for medical equipment. Crews will be out all weekend.

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