EAST LONGMEADOW Last Wednesday people filed into local eatery, Romito's & Sons, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. While this is not out of the ordinary for the delicatessen during the week, the premise of their visit was.
Cuffed, behind bars, and waiting to post bail these individuals were arrested for a great cause -- they were participants in the Muscular Dystrophy Association's (MDA) Lock-up.
Participants raised "bail" money to sponsor a child to attend an MDA summer camp. The cost of sending a child to an MDA camp for one week is $600.
According to the MDA, their camps offer a wide range of activities specially designed for young people who have limited mobility or use wheelchairs.
The local MDA chapter expected 35 participants and surpassed their $12,000-$18,000 goal by raking in $26,000.
"We are very excited," said MDA Program Coordinator Sarah McGahan, who also doubled as bailiff. "Basically it was more than what we ever expected. As far as the community goes, it shows how much effort they put in and we are very thankful to Romito's for letting us have the event there."
"Jail birds" began fund-raising weeks prior to the event and later when "brought to jail," called family, co-workers, and acquaintances to help them raise bail money.
The MDA called upon business and community leaders to participate in the event.
Romito's donated the lock-up space and provided lunch.
The top "jail birds" included:
Paul Kinney, executive director of the National Retail Tenants Association, bail total $1,850;
Dr. Amy St. Germain, bail total $1,425;
Bill Prunelle, Prunelle Electric,
Bill Mailhott, Jiffy Lube, $1,300;
James Walsh, RTH Group, $1,225;
Scott Meara, Longmeadow Police Department, $900.
|MDA Lock-up - View photos of locals locked up for a good cause|