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MDA Lock Up raises more than $20K
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Forsyth County News

CUMMING — Local business and community leaders were recently “locked up” as part of a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

The 22 “jailbirds” raised more than $20,000 for families affected by neuromuscular diseases, which was enough to send 24 children to Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge this week for activities such as horseback riding, sports, swimming and crafts.

The camp is designed for people with muscular dystrophy, who often have limited mobility.

The Lock Up, the MDA’s largest fundraiser, gathers people from communities across the U.S. and “arrests” them. The participants raise money in order to pay for their “bail,” with many choosing to do so before the actual event.

The MDA funds research to find cures for muscular dystrophy, ALS and similar diseases. The organization also seeks to educate medical professionals and the general public about neuromuscular diseases.

Cumming also participated in 2012, ’11 and ’09, said Anya Coggin, fundraising coordinator for the MDA.

Forsyth County’s jailbirds were taken by sheriff’s deputies to Outback Steakhouse on Market Place Boulevard

Participants included: Bill Powell, a local engineer; RJ LoPresti, owner of Choe’s HapKiDo; the Rev. Matthew Van Smoorenburg from St. Brendan’s Catholic Church; and Eric Treusch from Smithfield Packaging.

The Chick-fil-A cow from the restaurant’s Atlanta Road location also was hauled in.

Several members of St. Brendan’s came to support Van Smoorenberg, including Ashlee, a 9-year-old girl from Cumming with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, Coggin said.

“We were able to form a nice little family connection there,” she said.