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DECA club, fire department team together to fill the boot

The West Fargo High School DECA Club and the West Fargo FIre Department are pooling their physical resources to conduct a special fundraising campaign this weekend.

Members of both organizations will be working to “Fill the Boot” for the Muscular Dystrophy Association on Friday, Feb. 1, from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 2, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the West Fargo Sun Mart entryway at 1100 13th Ave. E.

Leading the charge are a trio of friends and classmates -- Yann Niteka, vice president of the North Dakota DECA Chapter and a senior at West Fargo High, Mike Holland, president of the West Fargo DECA Club and a junior at the school, and Nick Sikorski, also a junior active in the DECA Club.

Niteka said the group hopes to raise as much as possible, with sites set on at least a $1000. “We figured filling the boot would be a good idea and a great tool to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which our chapter is all about.”

“So we decided to make it happen and took the lead and called the fire department. And Sun Mart was gracious enough for us to use their facility for this great event that will create awareness and impact a lot of lives.”

Niteka said the monies raised will be used to help send kids with MD to camp held annually in June, where he and Nick will serve as counselors.

Niteka encourages anyone stopping by Sun Mart over the weekend to “give of their own hearts, if they have change or anything, it all helps.”

DECA stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America, which is a high school club focused on business and marketing.

The West Fargo Club, about 38 members strong, is a diverse, family-oriented group with a focus on personal growth and community service. They meet regularly for chapter meetings and coordinate individual projects like the one they are conducting this weekend.

West Fargo Fire Chief Roy Schatschneider said his group is proud to be a part of the campaign. The department is familiar with the project conducting a similar venture each year during West Fest which benefits the Salvation Army.

“The Fill the Boot Campaign is primarily a fire department thing,” Schatschneider said. “They do this all across the country collecting donations for MDA. It’s been awhile since we’ve done it here so we thought this would be a good opportunity to team up and we are happy to join the DECA clubs in doing this two day event.”

The fire department’s pass the boot for the Salvation Army this year collected around $2000 which will be used to cover the expense of communication equipment for the local organization.

Schatschneider also encourages those shopping at Sunmart Friday evening and Saturday to open their pockets for this great cause. “We appreciate whatever anyone can give, loose change or whatever.”

More information about the group is available at or on Facebook.