The Airdrie Professional Firefighters Association has announced that after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the ever-popular Rooftop Campout for Muscular Dystrophy will be going forward in February.

According to the association, on February 22, four Airdrie Firefighters will take to the roof of the Toad 'n' Turtle Pubhouse & Grill (1900 Market St) to brave the elements for 72 hours, before returning to the ground on February 25.

Andrew MacPherson, the Charities President of Airdrie Firefighters Charitable Foundation said that during the course of the campout, there will be a whole host of different activities and events during the four-day campout, all meant to bring awareness and spur locals to donate money. The campout will kick off with opening ceremonies on Wednesday, February 22, while Wednesday evening is dedicated as wing night at the pub.

Thursday (4 p.m. - 7 p.m.) is for the kids, as they will be able to eat for free if parents buy an entree meal. On Friday, residents are encouraged to come up and visit with the firefighters. 

On Saturday, a pancake breakfast will be held from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m by donation, then later on in the evening there will be a live music show (7 p.m. - 10 p.m.) as well as a silent auction during the evening (6 p.m. - 11 p.m.) 

"Every day we see the large impact small actions can have when a group of people work together to take on a challenge. The majority of our fundraising comes from community businesses that choose to join us publicly in our stand against this terrible disease. We are looking for community support for the event in the form of sponsorship and donations for our silent auction," a press release from the  Airdrie Professional Firefighters Association stated.

MacPherson who participated in the campout a few years ago said the weather is perhaps the biggest challenge. In order to stave off the cold, firefighters participate in a variety of physical activities while they camp out on the roof. 

"The guys just try to stay active. We have local businesses that will come up and host different classes. Aside from that, the main reason they're doing this is to collect money [for Muscular Dystrophy]."

He also added that there is a personal motivation for himself to be a driving force behind the campout.

"One of the main reasons that I do it is because my mom has muscular dystrophy," MacPherson said.

Muscular Dystrophy causes muscle weakness, and decreases mobility, making everyday tasks difficult. There are different types of dystrophies, some of which see patients not living after 40 years old. The condition is progressive and some types of MDs can affect vital organs such as the heart or the muscles used for breathing. There is no cure for the disease today. 

The Airdrie Professional Firefighters Association will be accepting donations from Toad 'n' Turtle patrons in person and online on behalf of Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

In previous years, the firefighters were caught in the middle of a blizzard and saw temperatures of -37 ̊C, which made national headlines. One can only hope the balmy weather Airdrie has seen in January will last through till their campout. 

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