The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday August 18th

Town leaders under lockdown

Get 'arrested' to fund muscular dystrophy

Making arrests and raising bail was the theme Wednesday at the Franklin Hotel for some of Chapel Hill's leaders and business owners, who were "arrested" and brought to be "locked up" until they could meet their set bails. The jailbirds took part in the annual "lock-up," a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association's local district. "This is one of our biggest fundraisers," said Karissa Binkley, district director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association for Eastern Carolina. "People get pretty competitive and like to raise money, especially when they know what the money's going toward. "They get to meet our kids and families, which allows them to put a face with the disease." About 200 business representatives and leaders from the area participated in the event, with several of them being long-term participants. Delos O'Daniel, who has been a jailbird each year since 1983, said he contributes his time year after year because he believes in the cause. "The first time I participated I went home feeling good about myself," O'Daniel said. "I know the money is going where it's needed." He put work into raising money before even arriving at the lock-up by mailing out 110 requests for support and making phone calls. "Anyone who sees those kids in wheelchairs, it's heartbreaking," O'Daniel said. "The least we can do is give some of our time. It just takes a little time." Each participant volunteered to be arrested and was brought to the hotel to raise his share of the bail by making phone calls and getting pledges. The money will go to the MDA clinics at UNC, Duke University and a summer camp in Stokesdale, and also will help people get wheelchairs and braces. "Muscular dystrophy affects all groups of people - every age group, both genders, and it stands any ethnicity," Binkley said. "Although we're finding ways to extend peoples' lives and comfort, there's still no cure." Binkley said the district to which Chapel Hill belongs provides services for 17 counties and 1,500 families at no cost to the patients, and it relies heavily on this fundraiser each year. The goal for this year was $100,000. Melissa Crane, director of sales and marketing at Franklin Hotel, said she was excited to be hosting the event. "It's a very important charitable cause, so to have the opportunity to hold it here was an honor," Crane said. "It's a great way for people to have the downtown experience while working toward the cause." Binkley said the exposure the event brings to MD is important in raising money locally. "It's a great way to raise money, because it's fun for people so they come back year after year. It also gives muscular dystrophy a more local face," she said. "It shows people that we're not a nebulous nonprofit organization that just exists - we're important in the community." Contact the City Editor at citydesk@unc.edu


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