Beaumont area leaders go behind bars to support MDA

Kayla Harris in 2012

More than 150 business and civic leaders from throughout the Beaumont area will be “arrested” and put “behind bars” for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Lock-Up fundraiser hosted by The Grill by Arfeen, Smith and Payne on Thursday, June 6.

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 Southeast Texas living with progressive muscle diseases.

Each MDA jailbird’s “bail” is set at $2,400, which will allow him/her to be released for good behavior. The bail amount will help get three kids to MDA Summer Camp. MDA also assisted jailbirds in creating personalized Lock-Up donation websites for friends, family and co-workers to help raise their bail ahead of time online by making secure donations. They can even be posted to Facebook.

“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 Anna Papoutsis, executive director for MDA. “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 our 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 Southeast Texas area. The event also will help send Southeast Texas youngsters to a special week at MDA summer camp at Camp for All in Burton. 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. Some activities include horseback riding, swimming, football, 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 unparalleled 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 unparalleled medical and health care services to adults and children with neuromuscular diseases.

For more information about MDA’s Lock-Up campaign, contact Papoutsis at (409) 838-4545, or by e-mail at apapoutsis [at] mdausa [dot] org.