150 to go to jail for good cause

Todd G. Higdon

On Thursday, 150 Neosho individuals and business leaders will be arrested, but for a good cause.

The annual Muscular Dystrophy Association Lock Up will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lampo Building.

“We do this to raise money for our local families,” said Lacey Washburn, district director for the local MDA. “To send kids to MDA camp ... as well as fund research, help with leg braces and communication devices. It goes to a myriad of reasons.”

For the last few weeks, “warrants” were issued for people to participate in the cause. Each inmate’s bail was set at $800, the cost of sending one child to MDA Summer Camp.

Once the warrant had been issued, the “jailbirds” call upon friends, family, co-workers and others to raise their bail. If it was not raised by Thursday, they are to report to the Lampo Building or be taken into custody by cars furnished by Griffith Motors. Once they arrive at Lampo Building, they can call people and ask for money to raise their bail.

“This year, we are looking and hoping to raise at least $10,000,” Washburn said. “Last year, we raised a little more than $12,000 and our goal was $10,000.”

Pre-raising one’s bail qualifies one for several prizes, including:

- $85 — An MDA Lock-Up t-shirt

- $400 — Five raffle tickets for a 2009 Harley Davidson Motorcycle

- $800 — 10 tickets for a chance to win a 2009 Harley Davidson Motorcycle, plus a trip for two to Cancun, Mexico.

During their jail time, the jailbirds will be fed. Each jail sentence lasts for one hour.

Washburn said 77.4 percent of every dollar MDA spends goes directly to research, healthcare services and education.

What is muscular dystrophy?

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Web site, “The muscular dystrophies (MD) are a group of more than 30 genetic diseases characterized by progressive weakness and degeneration of the skeletal muscles that control movement. Some forms of MD are seen in infancy or childhood, while others may not appear until middle age or later. The disorders differ in terms of the distribution and extent of muscle weakness (some forms of MD also affect cardiac muscle), age of onset, rate of progression, and pattern of inheritance.”

More than one million Americans are affected by muscular dystrophy and related diseases.

About 250,000 have some form of muscular dystrophy.

Neosho Daily News