LS firefighter charities present check for $26,000; block returns this week
For decades, the men and women of the Lee’s Summit Firefighters Charities have been manning the corner of Third and Douglas streets on behalf of Lee’s Summit Social Services.
The firefighters will be at it again this week, working the four corners of Third and Douglas Dec. 20-22.
Representatives of the IAFF Local #2195 recently presented a check to LSSS for $26,000 for money collected at the 2017 Boot Block – an annual tradition where firefighters work the busy downtown corner with boots in hand to collect for the Needy Family Fund.
“This is the single biggest check we get each year,” LSSS Executive Director Matt Sanning said. “Their hearts are in the right place, always, for our organization. They want to keep the money local and support the local families.”
According to longtime Lee’s Summit firefighter Dan Manley – whose grandfather was a firefighter at the same department – the charitable giving and Boot Block goes back decades. In the last 25 years, the money has been given to help families that are assisted by LSSS.
“The first year of the Boot Block, around 1984, we were averaging $7-8,000,” Manley said. “It seems like we would have a new peak each year; over a period of time, a city ordinance was established to limit fundraising taking place at that intersection, but the firefighter collection was preserved.”
The firefighters, both active and retirees, volunteer their time, off duty, on behalf of the department to help raise the funds, Manley said.
“This is truly an organizational program to give back to the community,” said Manley, who has been a part of the Boot Block every year since its inception. “Lee’s Summit has always been a community that cares about one another and they demonstrate that each year by supporting the Needy Family Fund. We see familiar faces each year. Some families make it a tradition, instead of exchanging gifts they will donate to Lee’s Summit Social Services. That’s the way they celebrate their Christmas spirit. That’s heartwarming to see.”