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Jailed for the right reasons

“Mom, I’m in jail,” were the first words out of Kelly Sutton’s mouth when she got to make her allowed phone call.

Following her mom’s worried response, Sutton explained she was a participant in the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s (MDA) lock-up fundraiser. This is the third year, Sutton, an office manager at Avenue Dental Care has participated in the annual event.

“This event helps local families and people in our area,” said Lisa Guzzo, MDA field representative.

On Thursday, men and women from Silverdale and Bremerton volunteered to be “locked-up” in order to raise “bail” by means of donations.

The average “bail” amount was about $600, but many “bail” amounts were $1,200, which is enough to pay for two kids affected by muscular dystrophy to attend summer camp at YMCA Camp Seymour in Gig Harbor. Approximately 80 kids attend the camp each year through MDA.

Money raised will also benefit funding for durable medical equipment as well as several free-of-charge programs including clinic services, research and support groups.

“The support groups are very important not only for the patients, but also for the families,” Guzzo said.

For five hours, participants were taken to the Outback Steakhouse on SR 303 in Bremerton, also known as the “jail,” by volunteers from the International Association of Fire Fighters Locals 2819 and 437. The volunteers, transformed into “police,” picked up participants and placed them in the “paddy wagons,” which were 12 cars donated for the day by Budget Rental Car.

“Its a good cause and I wanted to help out,” said Jason Reed, a firefighter from Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue’s Station 56. “Our union tries to do as many public events as possible.”

Once participants arrive at their jail, their mug shot was snapped and they are given approximately one hour to sit in a restaurant booth or “cell block”. A cell phone is provided so participants can try to receive more donations in order to make their alloted bail.”

This is the fourth year Outback Steakhouse has served as the jailhouse.

Jennifer Beaton, manager of Total Video on Wheaton Way, also was a three-year event participant. To raise funds prior to the lock-up and cut down on her calls for bail, she sold raffle tickets at the store.

“It’s really exciting and it’s a good community oriented project,” Beaton said.

Approximately 200 “detainees” participated in the event. Thirteen firefighters and six members of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) volunteered their time.

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