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As long as most of us remember, MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) has always held a special place in the hearts of firefighters around the country. Locally, Keokuk’s own firefighters have always long supported this awesome cause. Residents can always see them walking around with firefighter boots (“Fill The Boot”), collecting money for MDA in parades and at various events. There will be a new event this year that many are excited about, and it’s for adults and children of all ages and abilities.

On Saturday, Aug. 24, the Keokuk Firefighters and Muscular Dystrophy Association will be holding its first annual Firefighters For MDA 5K Trail Run/Walk at Shimek Forest in Farmington. Registration will be from 7-8:30 a.m., and the race will begin at 9 a.m. Entry fee is $25 and includes a t-shirt.

The race route is a forested trail loop, an out and back course, through Shimek Forest. For those who have never experienced Shimek, this would be a fantastic way to experience it. Participation and/or donation will help save and improve the lives of individuals with muscular dystrophy and the families who love them.

The internet describes muscular dystrophy as “a group of genetic diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. In muscular dystrophies, abnormal genes (mutations) lead to muscle degeneration. MOST forms begin in childhood. As of right now, treatment can help, but this condition cannot be cured.”

At the 5K, bananas and water will be provided, and this is a timed event where medals will be awarded to the top overall male and female.

For those who don’t want to run or walk the race, you are still able and encouraged to make a donation at

Keokuk Firefighter, Jason Crew, has been the one who set up this event and has been planning this event for the last few months. Crew has put his whole heart into planning this, and is very excited to start an annual family event like this in our area. Crew will be running in this 5K with fellow friends and firefighters, but he will also be running as a member of MDA Team Momentum in the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 13.

“I started training for the Chicago marathon in February of this year. It has helped to do some events throughout the year, such as the 30 mile Ultra Marathon in Pekin, Ill. (called the Potawatomi Trail Run). I ran that race to raise money for the Clinton, Iowa firefighters, one who was severely injured and one who died at a fire scene on Jan.5. I appreciate all those who donate towards me being able to run, which helps me support a cause I love,” Crew said.

Consider making a donation to support him in his upcoming race. 100% of your donation, as always, goes to MDA, and you will be helping Crew achieve his goals of running to support this special cause. Running in the marathon will help support kids and adults living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and other muscle-debilitating diseases, in hopes that they will live longer and grow stronger.

MDA anticipates more new treatments in development during the next five years than in the previous five decades combined, thanks to participants and donors. Every step Crew takes while training and while racing, will help fund the MDA’s groundbreaking research to accelerate treatments and cures, and to provide care and support for their families. To donate to Crew running in the Chicago Marathon for MDA, go to:

For the 5K in Shimek, the race will start at Black Oak Lake. The closest address listed is 33653 Route J56, Farmington. Once arriving at that address, there will be signs to direct you to Black Oak Lake.