Jailed for a good cause

Published 12:20 am Wednesday, May 21, 2008

By Staff
MDA Lockup raises
money to fight
muscular dystrophy
Staff Writer
Some of Beaufort County’s most-upstanding residents were locked up with just cause Tuesday morning.
The Coastal Carolina District of the Muscular Dystrophy Association held its annual Lockup fundraiser at the Washington Civic Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants were voluntarily locked up as they tried to raise money through “bail” pledges to be set free. The volunteer convicts were required to submit to an “arrest warrant,” get fingerprinted and have their mugshots taken before being locked up. Participants were asked to set their own bails and raise it while in lockup by calling acquaintances who would donate money to reach the bail amount.
The volunteer convicts were given bail sheets to keep track of the money they raised for their bails and the fundraiser.
Volunteer convicts were contacted weeks ago about participating in the event.
Money raised by the event goes directly to MDA efforts in Beaufort County.
The goal of the lockup was to raise $32,000.
The money will be used for numerous services provided by the MDA.
Proper equipment is important for people with MD, as many become debilitated over time, according to Kaye Woolard, a fundraiser volunteers.
The fundraiser will also help support the MDA-sponsored Camp Carefree this summer. The camp offers two week-long sessions for children ages 6 to 17 who have MD. It features activities such as horseback-riding, fishing, swimming, boating and baseball.
Many people who have been touched by the disease or similar diseases, including ALS (Lou Gherig’s disease) and MS, attended the fundraiser. This year’s event was in honor of Merlin Woolard, a Washington resident who died because of complications from MD in February 2007.
Woolard’s immediate family was on-hand to volunteer, including his wife, Kaye, and daughters Merilynn Crisp and Emily Bland.
“He used to come volunteer and do this,” Woolard said about her husband. “(The MDA) did a lot of good for him.”
Bland is proud of the way her father lived his life and worked hard as a volunteer for the MDA.
Volunteer convict Crystal Marriner was touched by MD while helping her grandmother at Pungo District Hospital. Marriner, who is communications supervisor at the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, was freed after raising $1,060 for the fundraiser.
Bender believes support for the MDA is strong in Beaufort County, and she hopes to have many more inmates next year when she returns for the fundraiser.