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Fill the Boot for muscular dystrophy

Beginning Friday, firefighters in Forest Park will kick their boots off for a few days to help raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. On Aug. 1, 8 and 15, members of the fire department will solicit donations as part of the Fill the Boot Campaign in which donors are asked to literally help fill a fireman’s boot with money. In conjunction with the MDA, fire departments across the country will participate in the fundraiser that helps provide wheelchairs, leg braces, support groups, summer camps and medical research.

From 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on those dates in August, local firefighters will be at the intersections of Franklin and Desplaines streets, and Jackson and Circle streets. Last year’s campaign in Forest Park raised $2,840, according to a statement released by the MDA. This year’s goal is to raise at least $4,500.

Police, firefighters host social event

As part of a nationwide effort to curb illegal drug use and crime, the Forest Park Police Department is inviting residents to participate in the 25th Annual National Night Out. From 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 5, residents are asked to spend an evening outdoors with neighbors and local emergency response personnel.

Firefighters and police officers will be gathering at the Park District facilities on Harrison Street. Entertainment scheduled for the evening includes music, children’s rides, refreshments and a K-9 demonstration. Parents are encouraged to bring a camera so that children may be photographed with members of the police and fire departments.

Progress Center names new director

A Madison Street advocacy group for the disabled has named a new executive director to replace Diane Coleman, who held the post for 12 years. Horacio Esparza, a nine-year veteran with the Progress Center for Independent Living, took over the top administrative job July 16. According to a statement released by the Progress Center, Esparza is also a board member for the Illinois Assistive Technology Project. He hosts “Vida Independiente,” a weekly radio program on WNTD-AM that highlights disability issues from a Latino perspective.