WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — For decades, Labor Day weekend was all about the 13WMAZ Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon with host Reverend Jimmy Waters.
Many Central Georgians dug deep to help out their neighbors living with Muscular Dystrophy, and, even today, there are still people working hard to make a difference.
The Warner Robins Fire Department has always raised money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
"If you see us holding a boot out at Walmart, if you see us out at Kroger, please donate. I know everybody is going through a rough time right now and finances are tough for people, but it really does go a long way for these kids," Patrick Mobley said.
Mobley started his career as a Warner Robins firefighter six years ago.
"I didn't know a lot about Muscular Dystrophy Association until I joined the fire department," Mobley said.
In 2017, he visited the MDA camp for the very first time, "And after I went for that first time and was able to see those kids and the way they lit up, I wanted to be more involved," Mobley said.
So, he became a camp counselor.
"For them to have an opportunity that week to do activities, play games, swim in a pool, zipline, rock climb -- they have all these activities that they have for them to do, that during their normal year they are not able to do; and for them to do it with other kids who go through the same struggles that they do, it's amazing to see the way the kids light up and the way that they enjoy that week," Mobley said.
Patrick doesn't have to volunteer his time at camp, but he chooses to.
That's because he believes his involvement and your donations make a difference in those children's lives.
"It's a friendship and it's a bond that doesn't just last a week. It lasts a lifetime," Mobley said.
Warner Robins firefighter volunteers as a counselor for MDA camp
MDA Director of Firefighter Partnerships Erin Randall says the money you donate goes directly toward MDA.
"It's huge for them. Without the funding from the community that our firefighters are able to raise, we wouldn't be able to have our summer camp that we host right here in Georgia for our young kids, every summer, as well as our research efforts; as well as our three local care centers in the State of Georgia that our families are able to be seen by MDA doctors," Randall said.
For next year's camp activities, Mobley asks you to help.
"We may be standing out there holding a boot, but we couldn't do it without the people in this community, willing and ready to donate every time they see us out there at Walmart or see us at Kroger, so they hold the biggest hand in this. All we're asking is you continue to support us and support the Muscular Dystrophy Association; because it goes to those kids and it means a lot for research, and those kids at camp," Mobley said.
It's on September 16 at 1 p.m. at the International City Golf Course.
It costs $65 to play.
Spots are limited, so please contact Hannah Kennedy at 478-293-1022 to register.
It's a time where countless folks are willing and ready to give some deserving kids a priceless experience.
"We're touching people's lives in our community and we're doing it one dollar at a time with the help of our firefighters," Randall said.
Mobley also says MDA is always looking for volunteers at their summer camp.
"If you go, you'll always want to go back. The kids are great. To minimize it a little bit, your responsibility is to make sure they have a great week, an awesome week. They have fun. If they want to go swimming early in the morning, you take them to go swimming early in the morning. It's really just making sure they have a good time. You are responsible for them, so making sure they are taking their medications when they are supposed to, helping them get up and down out of their chairs if they are not mobile. The biggest thing is making sure they are having fun and that they want to come back next year," Mobley said.