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MDA lockup creates jailbirds to raise funds for research

By Angela Ward, Longview News-Journal

1639 days ago   Article ID# 1529089
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Muscular Dystrophy Association

LONGVIEW, TEXAS (Longview News-Journal) - Dentists, priests and bank tellers were arrested Thursday, but it wasn’t part of some bizarre crime wave.

They were among about 150 people taking part in an annual MDA Lockup, which raises funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

In addition to people volunteering to be jailbirds for a day (or being nominated for the honor by friends or relatives), other members of the community donated their time to serve as Old West sheriffs, judges and a host of other personalities needed to make the event come alive, said Meredith Honeycutt with the local MDA.

“We’ve really had a great response this year,” Honeycutt said. “This is the largest number of participants we’ve ever had.”

Participants served their time at Texas Roadhouse, eating free meals while calling their friends, family members and co-workers to make bail.

“We’ve been very blessed by the amount of donations,” Honeycutt said. “Longview is a very giving community.”

Benny Howard served as the judge. A former firefighter in the Dallas area, he retired from that profession when he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy.

“I always helped raised money for MDA, even before I was diagnosed myself, but it’s definitely a cause that’s extra-close to my heart nowadays,” Howard said.

Dr. Brandon Greer was a first-time offender, but said he didn’t mind taking time out of his day to participate.

“It’s a good cause and a way to be of service to the community,” Greer said. “I’m glad to do what I can to help find a cure for this disease.”

Julie Bales, a teller at Southside Bank, also was participating for the first time.

“Being part of this has definitely opened my eyes to some of the difficulties and expenses people with muscular dystrophy have to deal with,” she said. “This event isn’t just about raising money; it’s also about raising awareness.”

The money will be used to fund research into cures for muscular dystrophy, to send local children with the disease to summer camp and to help with things such as wheelchair repairs and clinic costs, Honeycutt said.

“Our goal is a cure, so the largest portion of the money goes to research,” she said.

Copyright 2016 Longview News-Journal   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 1639 days ago   Article ID# 1529089

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