From the Very Start: Helmer Reddick, Fire Fighters and Muscular Dystrophy Canada
The Edwardsburgh/Cardinal Fire Department Station #1, in the Leeds and Grenville county of south-eastern Ontario, was formed in October of 1951. About 25 of the township’s 400 residents joined up to be Fire Fighters, Helmer Reddick was one of those 25. Helmer recalls some of his first colleagues’ day jobs: an Ottawa Roughrider, electrician, plumber and a politician. Now retired, and 90 years-old, Helmer still gives his time to help with administrative duties and to organize the Department’s Fill the Boot campaigns for Muscular Dystrophy Canada.
The Edwardsburgh/Cardinal Fire Department Station #1 has been fundraising for Muscular Dystrophy Canada since our first year in 1954-1955 to, “help out a good cause,” and, “it’s paid off with all of the progress in research.” One of the challenges Helmer found over the first few years was that people did not know where the money was going. This has changed for the better with improved communication and more awareness, especially through the Jerry Lewis Labour Day Telethon.
Though Helmer retired in 1988, he still found that he had the desire to help out around the Fire Department and with the fundraising for Muscular Dystrophy Canada. Over the years he has found some good tricks to make sure the Fill the Boot Drive goes off without a hitch – one involves getting your granddaughters to sort coins, and the other is to make sure you get the strongest Fire Fighters to hold the boots because they can get heavy: