Father pledges to shave beard if Portsmouth Fire reaches “Fill the Boot” goal

Matthew and Hannah Trail. (MDA)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – Matthew Trail, whose daughter Hannah Trail was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, has vowed to shave the 11-inch beard he has had for “as long as he can remember” if the Portsmouth Local #0539 Fire Department raises a total of $25,000 for their annual Fill the Boot fundraising campaign.

The campaign, which benefits the Muscular Dystrophy Association and is held every year by firefighters across Hampton Roads, helps kids and adults with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related muscle-debilitating diseases live longer and grow stronger.

Continuing a more than 64-year tradition, over 150 dedicated fire fighters from the Portsmouth Fire Department were on streets and at storefronts with boots in hand asking pedestrians, motorists, customers and other passersby to make donations to MDA throughout the last two weekends. To date they have raised $20,009.

According to a statement from the MDA, the Porstmouth firefighters are determined to raise more money for MDA to fund research to find a cure for neuromuscular disease and help send children like Hannah to attend summer camp every year. They plan to continue to raise money until they hit or exceed $25,000 – and hold Trail to his word.

You can continue to make contributions to the Portsmouth Fire Department’s Fill the Boot and help them reach their goal by donating dollars and change on the following days and at these locations:

  • Wednesday, September 5 at Portsmouth Fire Department 1
  • Thursday, September 13 at Churchland/Downtown
  • Saturday, September 15 at High St. Crawl, Monday, September 17 at Churchland/Downtown

Donations can also be made online here.

Contributions help fund groundbreaking research and life-enhancing programs such as state-of-the-art support groups and care centers, including the MDA Care Center at The Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk.

They also help send more than 70 local kids to “the best week of the year” at MDA summer camp at the 4H Camp in Wakefield, VA – all at no cost to their families.