CASTLEGAR — Muscular Dystrophy Canada (MDC) has recognized the Castlegar Firefighters Association with its Up and Coming Department of the Year award and Robson firefighter Dustin LePage with its BC/Yukon Fire Fighter of the Year award.
“Muscular Dystrophy Canada would like to acknowledge the efforts of the Castlegar Firefighters Association whose hard work on behalf of Muscular Dystrophy Canada in 2016/17 contributed to the overall British Columbia/Yukon total of $651,000,” reads a press release announcing the award.
The award recognizes the department’s outstanding support to MDC over the past year. The department has been supporting the organization since 1980 and since then they have raised over $40,000. They also organized a truck pull for the first time this year, holding it during the Kootenay Festival and helping to raise awareness about MDC.
Firefighter of the Year winner LePage has been a volunteer with the Robson Volunteer Fire Department since 2012. He took over that department’s Muscular Dystrophy Chair in late 2013.
“The chief at the time didn’t know Dustin had a personal connection to the cause, his cousin and best friend Troy had muscular dystrophy,” MDC explained in a press release. “They were best friends growing up and even though he passed at the age of 24, to this day his spirit positively affects Dustin’s life.”
The RVFD has held an annual boot drive since 2014, raising over $6,200 the first year, and growing each year after.
LePage is also the organizer for the Firefighter Games, which just saw their fourth successful year. This year’s event included 19 teams from across the province and raised $6200.
“I’m so pleased with how our region and beyond comes together to support this event that not only raises funds for a very worthy cause but also helps strengthen the camaraderie within the fire services community,” said LePage. “A huge thanks to our sponsors from the business community, our volunteers and of course the public that came out to have a great time.”
The Firefighter Games have raised over $25,000.
“Dustin’s passion and dedication to Muscular Dystrophy Canada is reminiscent of a long standing tradition of firefighters supporting those living with neuromuscular disorders by raising awareness and funds,” said MDC.