Big hearted Sweet Home jailbirds raise $6,000 for Jerry’s Kids

Some Sweet Home jailbirds with big hearts helped raise more than $6,000 for Jerry’s Kids Thursday, during a Muscular Dystrophy Association lock up held at the Veteran’s Club.

MDA representative Scott Brooke said he was extremely pleased with the volunteer spirit and the community support shown during the event.

“This is one of several programs we sponsor for Jerry’s Kids,” Brooke said. “We issue a warrant for the ‘arrest’ of someone local and they help us raise money by calling their friends and relatives seeking bail money.”

Brooke said the lockups are usually held at VFW halls, pizza parlors and the like.

“We ask the persons for whom warrants are issued to raise as much money as they can before hand,” Brooke said.

Cellular phones were donated for the event by Cellular One of Albany. The units were kept humming from morning until late afternoon as dozens of Sweet Home “jailbirds” spent a hour each “dialing for dollars”.

Brooke said the project’s goal was to raise $5,000.

“When someone donates $450, that pays for one week of camp for one child,” Brooke said. “$50 buys one minute of research and $20 pays for a flu shot.”

Brooke said he was very pleased with the spirit shown by the VFW staff and members.

“The VFW has been very helpful,” Brooke said. “Many of the club members have donated money when they walked in and saw what we were doing.”

Money raised here will benefit East Linn county residents, Brooke said.

“All money raised here will stay in this area,” Brooke said. “The MDA helps people with more than 40 neuromuscular diseases, including ALS better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.”

Several local businesses were extremely generous, Brooke said, including Tack Logging, Timber Harvesting Inc. and Lloyd Rice, among others.

City Manager Craig Martin, Fire Chief Dean Gray and City Attorney Robert Snyder teamed up to bring in several hundred dollars and kicked the project off with early morning fun, Brooke said.

“These guys did a great job,” Brooke said.

Even the smallest Sweet Home residents did their part to help Jerry’s Kids. Students at Little Promises Pre-School canvassed the downtown area soliciting funds to help bail out their school’s leader, Anita Hutchins.

“They raised more than $500 to get me out of jail,” Mrs. Hutchins said with a laugh behind the mock cell bars. “A couple of the kids handed me dollar bills to help out.”

Anyone not contacted who would like to help Jerry’s Kids and further support the local fund drive may send their donation to the MDA, 1140 Willagillespie Road #14, Eugene, Oreon 97401.