Locals heading to jail in order to raise money for muscular dystrophy
Date posted: November 15, 2013
SHERIDAN — The annual Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Lock-Up event will be held Nov. 21 at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Best Western Sheridan Center.
The event features the “incarceration” of various community members who must raise $1,600 for MDA to get out of jail.
“It’s an event we’ve been having for so many years, probably over 10 years,” said Kim Johnson, fundraising coordinator for MDA of Northern Colorado and Wyoming. “As a national event, its been going on well over 30 years and it is the biggest event of the year. And it is where most of the money we make comes from.”
Johnson said 145 local community members are currently signed up to participate, though not everyone is able to actually show up on the day of the event. Still, she is hoping at least 50 people will be in jail over the lunch hour next Thursday.
“The way it works, there are nominations, people in the community nominate their friends and family to go jail and get locked up,” she explained. “It is community leaders and community people that are really well known. We want the best of the best to bring awareness of MDA in each community we are in.”
She added that the jail has “very high security.”
“It is of the highest quality cardboard,” Johnson said. “We have stripes they put on and go back there and get their mug shot taken. Then we let them go and they can have lunch and network and enjoy the social aspect of it.”
Johnson said more than 200 Wyoming families are assisted by MDA, with three of those families residing in Sheridan. She said the requested $1,600 fundraising amount represents the amount MDA needs to support a family affected by muscular dystrophy for one year, with money for equipment repair, a week at camp, flu shots and other assistance.
“Actually my boss, the district engineer, has been locked up in years past and he’ll be out of town this year and when they said do you know who could do it in your place, he instantly volunteered me,” said Wyoming Department of Transportation Public Relations Specialist Ronda Holwell, who plans to be an inmate at the event. “And when they asked me who I would like to be locked up with, I instantly said Michelle Edwards, so that is the state of events we have going on. Michelle Edwards and I are getting locked up together.”
“We are just raising money as we speak and Michelle is doing much better than myself,” Holwell continued. “Her office obviously likes her better than my office likes me, because they are paying more to get her back to the office than my office is paying to get me back!”