John Michels Sr. Ladder Sit comes to an end

Darrell Cole
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50-hour ladder sit raises approximately $14,200 for MD research

Despite the weather, the 14th John Michels Sr. Ladder Sit was a success, raising more than $14,000 for MD research.

AMHERST – It was wet and it was cold, but Leon Burke would do it again in a heartbeat.

The 10-year veteran Amherst firefighter emerged from the department’s aerial platform on Saturday after spending 50 hours suspended atop the ladder truck over the Walmart parking.

The three-day, 50-hour campaign, raised approximately $14,200 for the Amherst Fire Department’s Muscular Dystrophy.

“It would do it again, no hesitation,” Burke said. “It’s such an important cause. I had cousins who had MD and seeing Jacob here today meant so much. That’s what it’s all about.”

Jacob Bourgeois, who is a Grade 9 student at ARHS, attended the closing with his mother and sister. He was lifted into the aerial platform that was Burke’s home for 50 hours and lifted about 20 feet into the air with Burke.

Members of the department also posed for a photo with Bourgeois.

Burke said the campaign went very well, despite the weather. He said conditions weren’t too bad on Thursday after he was first lifted 72 feet into the air. He had to be brought down when a pair of thunderstorms rolled through the area, and even when he went back up he was only at about 50 feet because of the wind.

Friday night was a little more difficult because it cold and continued to rain.

“There was once last night when the wind shifted and I got a face full of rain in the middle of the night,” Burke said. “Other than that it went well. I watched movies and talked to my kids. It went well.”

Burke said he was most impressed with how people continued to come out and volunteer their time and give money for the MD campaign.

“It’s amazing how people came together to give to support our campaign,” Burke said. “They stood out there in the rain to volunteer for and people gave everything they could to help us out. It’s an important cause and one we need to keep supporting.”



Organizations: Walmart, Amherst Fire Department

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