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Lock-Up raises ‘bail’ for muscular dystrophy

TULALIP — More than 70 local “jailbirds” served their sentences at Bob’s Burgers and Brew May 14, but the restaurant was happy to have them because the “prisoners” were part of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s “Lock-Up” fundraiser for the Marysville-Tulalip community.

Chontelle Mackner, district director for the North Sound Chapter of the MDA, explained that the “jailbirds” were all volunteers, who had agreed to be confined to the restaurant for periods of one hour each, while they worked to raise “bail” of $1,600 per person, which is enough to send two children with muscular dystrophy to the MDA’s special summer camp.

“We’re hoping to raise $30,000 today,” Mackner said May 14. “My favorite part of my job is that all the money we raise stays local.”

According to Mackner, the North Sound Chapter covers “all the way from Edmonds to north of the border.” The day’s pool of volunteer “jailbirds” was drawn from a number of community leaders, who all had their mug shots taken in a mock prison cell, complete with striped convict shirts, before they were given “gourmet bread and water,” actually consisting of full-course meals served on the house by the restaurant. Marysville firefighters picked up the “jailbirds” from their homes and places of work, and transported them in vehicles loaned out by Roy Robinson Chevrolet.

From there, the “jailbirds” were tasked with calling and texting anyone they could, who would donate enough “bail” to spring them. Quil Ceda Village Wal-Mart Co-Managers Shayne Stoddard and Mary Jane Hayes generated $2,000 in donations for the MDA, while Marysville School District Board Member Don Hatch raised $3,450.

“Once they’re done, we bring them back to work, which is kind of a punishment,” Mackner laughed. “While they’re here, though, we have lots of our families around. They can learn about muscular dystrophy and the 43 diseases that we cover.”

For those diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, such as Kent resident Amber Morse, the money spent by the MDA makes a tangible difference in their lives. Morse wasn’t diagnosed until she turned 14, and now, at the age of 25, she relies upon a motorized wheelchair for mobility.

“They help me with equipment for my chair, if I need anything fixed,” said Morse, who’s been volunteering at MDA events for the past six years. “They also help with my doctor visits. They pretty much help with anything that I need. If people have free time, they should come to the different events the MDA has, to learn more.”

For more information on the North Sound Chapter of the MDA, you can call 425-259-4078, or e-mail cmackner@mdausa.org.

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