Area leaders go ‘behind bars’ to support MDA

More than 100 business and civic leaders from throughout the Hood River area will be “arrested” and put “behind bars” for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Lock-Up fundraiser on Wednesday, April 17.

Accused of having big hearts and being heavily armed with kindness, the “jailbirds” volunteered to be part of MDA’s Lock-Up in order to raise “bail” by encouraging friends, family, co-workers and business contacts to make contributions to MDA that will directly benefit families in greater Oregon and southwest Washington area living with progressive muscle diseases.

Each MDA jailbird’s “bail” is set at $1,600, which will allow them to be released for good behavior. This year, the event is being held at Pietro’s Pizza and Bob Stone Subaru has donated “paddy wagons” for picking up the jailbirds.

Who will be “arresting” these friendly felons? None other than the City of Hood River’s fire department.

MDA also assists jailbirds in creating personalized Lock-Up donation websites to help raise their bail ahead of time online. The links for these websites can be emailed to friends, family and co-workers who could make secure online donations.

“It’s amazing how our community jailbirds have rallied around MDA and are doing a great job as they continue to raise bail donations,” explained Parvaneh Givi, area director. “The actual day of the Lock-Up will be a fun celebration of the work each person did to help families who live right here in their community.”

Lock-Ups are one of MDA’s signature fundraising programs, benefiting local individuals living with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related progressive muscle diseases in the Hood River area.

The event will also help send Hood River area youngsters to a special week at MDA summer camp at Camp Arrah Wanna in Welches, Ore. Youngsters with muscle diseases, as well as the many volunteers who help create magic at MDA summer camp each year, enjoy a wide variety of activities designed specifically for youngsters with limited mobility.

Activities include horseback riding, swimming, Harley rides and arts and crafts.

MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The association also provides health care services, advocates for the families it serves and invests significant resources educating the medical and scientific communities, as well as the general public, about neuromuscular diseases affecting more than 1 million Americans.

MDA maintains a nationwide network of some 200 hospital-affiliated clinics — 38 of which are designed as MDA/ALS centers — that provide medical and health care services to adults and children with neuromuscular diseases. Families are encouraged to visit the MDA Clinic at either Oregon Health & Science University or Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Portland.

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For more information about MDA’s Lock-Up campaign, contact Parvaneh Givi at 503-223-3177 or pgivi@mdausa.org.

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