Arlington MDA Lock-Up raises more than $56,000 for neuromuscular diseases
August 27, 2008 · Updated 5:22 PM
ARLINGTON Its not often that people are proud to be arrested in front of their neighbors, but the Muscular Dystrophy Associations Lock-Up fundraiser in Arlington allowed area residents to generate donations for a charitable cause by being incarcerated.
Tom Greene, bureau chief for the Snohomish County Sheriffs Office, appeared on Olympic Avenue in uniform Oct. 5, to click his handcuffs around the wrists of such participants as Favorite Pastimes Robin Miller and the Peterson Family Chiropractic Clinics Melanie Bober, before taking them for a ride in his duty vehicle to their jail at the Gleneagle Golf Course where they turned in the bail money theyd raised and were provided with cell phones by the MDA to try and drum up further contributions.
Greene had previously been an arrestee for the MDAs Lock-Up, which was why hed jumped at the chance to do the arresting this time around, but for Miller, Bober and many other participants, this Lock-Up was their first.
A couple of people had turned me in anonymously, apparently, Miller said. I was accused of being friendly, kindhearted and a lot of fun.
How do you turn somebody down, when they tell you something like that? Bober said. We got to give other peoples names, though, through the witness protection program.
Barb Butner, of the Arlington Fire Department, was another first-time arrestee who deemed the event a lot of fun for a good cause, made all the easier by the fact that arrestees were provided with user-friendly tools to set up their own Web sites to raise bail, as well as to send out mass e-mail, to lists of potential donors.
Nancy Holiman, of the Pioneer Bank, likewise praised the Lock-Up as worthwhile and well-organized, echoing Butners assessment of friends, family members and coworkers as generous contributors. As for Lakewood School District Superintendent Larry Francois, the three-time MDA Lock-Up arrestee found the groups Internet resources so useful this year that he was one of 25 participants to raise more than $1,200 in donations.
Jen Gillick, district director for the MDA, placed the total funds raised by the Arlington Lock-Up at $56,000 and counting, since the MDA will still be accepting late contributions to the event for the next month or so. This number stands in sharp contrast that the $35,000-$50,000 in bail that Gillick had expected the arrestees to be able to raise.
We had about 80 people participating this time, Gillick said. Our goal is to get just about every business in the community to volunteer at least one representative for the event. Not everyone does, of course, but a majority do.
Gillick explained that all of the MDAs funding comes such charitable campaigns, before elaborating that the money raised locally goes right back into locally-based research and treatment of muscular dystrophy, from furnishing patients and their families with medical equipment and therapy to breakthroughs in human trials, at the University of Washington, which could well herald a cure to one of the more than 40 neuromuscular diseases in the MDAs programs.
For Joan Beals, an Arlington resident and MDA volunteer, events such as the Lock-Up represent an opportunity for her to express her gratitude, not only to the MDA for the care they provided for her son, but also to those who have made the MDAs programs possible.
Beals son Jason was a recipient of the MDAs services ever since he was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease in 1977, and even though he passed away two years ago, his mother has continued to pitch in for the MDA because shell never forget how their staff members maintained a one-on-one relationship with her and made sure that she was never alone in her efforts to tend to her sons needs, even when they were minor concerns, about how to make him more comfortable.
She fondly recalled his experiences at MDA summer camps, where he was able to just be an everyday kid, with children similar to him, and appreciated the chance to meet the people who make these donations, and say thank you to their faces. Ive come full circle.