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'Jailbirds' get locked up; bail money raised for MDA

POSTED: March 20, 2009 12:02 a.m.
SARA GUEVARA/The Times

Atlanta Bread Co. managers Crystal Lynn, left, and Kayla Presley work together Thursday to collect donations for the Muscular Dystrophy Association during the sixth annual Gainesville Executive Lock-Up at the Georgia Mountains Center.

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Some Gainesville business and community leaders were taken to "jail" Thursday, but to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, not face criminal charges.

Each of the people "locked up" during the Gainesville Executive Lock-Up had an hour to call friends, family and co-workers to raise their "bail," donations to MDA.

The Hall County Sheriff’s Department and the Gainesville, Oakwood and Winterville police departments took those participating in the fundraiser to the Georgia Mountains Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Fingerprints and a mug shot were made for each participant in the fundraiser. Several local restaurants provided food for the MDA "jailbirds," who were taken back to work in limousines, according to Amy Alvarez, the district program director for Muscular Dystrophy Association Inc.

Last year, the event raised more than $64,000 for local children and adults with neuromuscular disease. Organizers hoped to equal that goal this year.

The funds raised also go to MDA clinics at Emory University and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite and programs such as the weeklong summer camp at Camp Twin Lakes, according to Alvarez.

The funds help more than 1,800 metro Atlanta and North Georgia families buy and maintain wheelchairs, leg braces and speech communication devices, according to Alvarez. It also funds research aimed at curing neuromuscular disease.



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