With a crisp -23 Degrees in Airdrie, four Airdrie firefighters ascended the ladder towards the Toad 'n' Turtle Pubhouse & Grill on Wednesday morning to begin a 72-hour Rooftop Campout in order to spur donations for muscular dystrophy.

Apart from the firefighters braving the frigid weather, Mayor Peter Brown also came to cheer on the first responders, pledging that he would donate $500 to the firefighters' cause. He also (in a friendly manner) jested that Deputy Fire Chief Garth Rabel and he should enter into a friendly competition to see who can donate more, setting the tone for the fundraiser.

afdThe 2023 Airdrie firefighters' rooftop campout fundraiser for muscular dystrophy commenced on Wednesday, February 22. (Photo by Anna Ferensowicz) 

Deputy Rabel didn't miss a beat, saying he would donate a portion of his pension.

"I just really want to thank everybody for this initiative. The more money we can put toward finding a cure is just an amazing thing," Mayor Brown said. 

The city's Fire Chief, Mike Pirie, underlined that community involvement is something that he and the fire department pride themselves on.

"You'll hear me say that many times: you have to be involved in the community. This is a very worthwhile charity and I hope people will come out, and patronize [ the Toad 'n' Turtle Pubhouse & Grill], and put some money in the booth."

Airdronian Jodie Cayley and her son Alex, who is battling Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) were also present. Cayley emotionally thanked everyone for their support and for the turnout.

Airdronian Jodie Cayley and her son Alex attended the opening ceremonies of the Airdrie firefighters Rooftop Campout. (Photo by Anna Ferensowicz)Airdronian Jodie Cayley and her son Alex attended the opening ceremonies of the Airdrie firefighters' Rooftop Campout. (Photo by Anna Ferensowicz)

President of the Airdrie Professional Firefighters Association, Matt Elgie, encouraged all Airdronians to come by throughout the week and visit. Various events to support the fundraiser will be held throughout the week at the pub and donations can be made online or in person. 

The firefighters will brave the elements until Saturday morning. Temperatures are expected to drop to nearly -40 on Thursday evening, making for a challenging environment.

It is estimated that approximately upwards of 50,000 Canadians have muscular dystrophy, and though there are various treatments, there is no cure.  

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