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Fundraiser 'jails' leaders for MDA
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Forsyth County News

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Donate to the Cumming Executive Lock-up, a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, through any local "jailbird" or online at


Forsyth County business and community leaders will go behind bars on Thursday for good — deeds, that is.


The biennial Cumming Executive Lock-up, a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, will send more than 125 local leaders to a mock jail at the Windermere Golf Club.


Those folks will then make calls to try and raise enough money to make bail, with a goal of $2,400 each, which can send three children with muscular dystrophy to summer camp.


The “jailbirds” will also be picked up by Forsyth County Sheriff’s deputies or CarMax, feast on the association’s version of bread and water and photographed for a mug shot, spokeswoman Leigh Harris said.


“They get to network and market their business and of course continue raising their bail [through phone calls],” Harris said.


“It’s a way for us to do grassroots fundraising. It’s also kind of a neat way to meet your neighbors.”


In 2009, the local event raised about $56,000. Organizers have set this year’s goal at $75,000, Harris said.


Through online fundraising and other efforts, the local community has received about $25,000 in donations, she said.


Doug Clayton of Bulls Eye Marksman Gun Club & Indoor Range said he’s sent out word of his upcoming arrest and begun collecting donations at his business.


In his third year participating, Clayton said the Cumming lock-up is one he always finds rewarding.


“If you’ve ever had an opportunity to meet some of the kids that this is supporting, you’ll go out of your way to make sure you find the time to do it,” he said.


Clayton turned himself in for the mock jail, but Trish Moynihan will find her way to the event based on a hot tip from someone in the community.


“They told me that the person who recommended that I be arrested is now in the witness protection program,” said Moynihan, owner of Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More.


She’s begun gathering donations at her store and reaching out to her community contacts to make bail.


Moynihan said she’s also looking forward to meeting and networking with her fellow jailbirds.


For those who couldn’t make it to the fake cell, Harris said MDA has some other outlets to raise funds.


“One thing we’re doing differently this year is we’re trying to get community more involved for people who can’t come to the event but still want to participate,” she said.


A karaoke event at Austin’s Steak & Seafood this past Saturday took in about $700, and a weeklong lunchtime lock-up at Chick-fil-A at Lanier Crossing will put the mascot behind bars.


Money raised from local efforts goes back to families registered in the county, which total about 20, Harris said.


Donations go toward doctor’s visits, flu shots, support groups and sending children to summer camp at Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge.


Harris said the week provides typical camping activities, such as arts and crafts and horseback riding.


Though children with muscular dystrophy often face physical limitations, Harris said the camp caters to those needs, and gives them a week to say “I can.”