Published: Jul 01, 2008 01:44 PM
Modified: Jul 01, 2008 01:44 PM
MDA fundraiser sets the bar
Lock-up at Franklin Hotel raises $55,000 for charity
CHAPEL HILL -- "Jail" and "Hotel" are, outside of Elvis films, not usually synonyms. On Wednesday, however, the Franklin Hotel held dozens of jailbirds. Posses of badge-wearing deputies rounded up the outlaws. In a leather chair a solemn-looking judge sat drinking her morning coffee. After a quick mug shot, the prisoners were taken to the second-floor jail. This lock-up, however, was a little more plush than most. On comfortable chairs and sofas, they calmly made their "one phone call," then another and another, asking friends to bail them out. By day's end, the Muscular Dystrophy Association Lock-up had raised $55,000, said Karissa Binkley, director of the 17-county Raleigh district. Lock-ups are among the association's most successfull fundraisers, said Mary Wolcott, program coordinator for the district. Between 77 and 78 cents out of every dollar donated go directly to local programs, with the rest covering overhead costs and salaries.The Muscular Dystrophy Association provides a wide variety of resources to those affected by any one of 42 neuromuscular diseases, including such conditions as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Donations provide grants for research, funding for clinics, a camp for children affected by neuromuscular diseases, and financial aid for the purchase of wheelchairs, leg braces and other aids. Wednesday's "Judge," Annee Moxley, received several hundred dollars from the Muscular Dystrophy Association to cover the costs of her leg braces that insurance would not. The summer camp for children "gives kids one week in their entire year to be a kid," Walcott said. Former Orange County Commissioner Ben Lloyd, whose daughter attended the camp north of Greensboro, described it as the "highlight of her year." The kids are "apprehensive on day one," he said, "but don't want to leave by day two or three." The association runs three clinics in the district: two at Duke (on Tuesdays and Fridays), and another, all-day Monday clinic at UNC. The Tuesday clinic is specific to Lou Gehrig's Disease, providing what health care services coordinator Jenny Greene called a multidisciplinary team approach, with team members such as occupational therapists and neurologists. While volunteers like Lloyd and Moxley participated Wednesday because of a personal connection to neuromuscular disease, others such as Chapel Hill Police Chief Brian Curran said it was just "kind of a nice thing to do for the community." Businessman Delos O'Daniel has been volunteering for the association since 1983. After his first lock-up, he remembers he slept and felt great. "Everybody should do it at least once," he said.
Contact correspondent Ian Hainline at firstname.lastname@example.org
2008 The Chapel Hill News