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Group locked in on goal
MDA fundraiser continues tradition
Mike Cornwell holds the “warrant” for his arrest Tuesday during the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Cumming Executive Lock-Up at Outback Steakhouse. - photo by Autumn Vetter

Kevin Ferraro had a very good day at work Tuesday.

While the Forsyth County Sheriff’s deputy typically stays busy dealing with lawbreakers, Tuesday he got to arrest people for doing something good.

“This is a great day,” he said. “I get to meet the good people and have a fun time with the community.”

Ferraro was one of several deputies, as well as officers from the Alpharetta Police Department, who helped the Muscular Dystrophy Association with its Cumming Executive Lock-Up event.

As part of the annual fundraiser, community and business leaders volunteered to serve as “jailbirds.”

They were picked up from their offices Tuesday by the law enforcement personnel and taken to “jail” at Outback Steakhouse on Market Place Boulevard.

They then tried to raise as much money as possible for their “bail” before being released and taken back to work in limousines.

Leslie Cash, an organizer of the event, said about 130 people signed up to raise money, although not all of them took part in the lock-up.

“We had about 40 people come to the event and raised around $27,000,” said Cash, adding that fundraising will continue for another month and a half on the association’s Web site.

The ultimate goal for the event is $54,000. Proceeds will go to various MDA programs, such as a summer camp for children with the disease, wheelchair repairs, clinics and support groups.

For those who did get locked up, the event seemed fun.

Jailbird Ken Griffis brought daughter Kenedi, a student at West Forsyth High School, for the first time.

“I had a friend at my middle school that had muscular dystrophy so when [my dad] asked me to do this, I thought about my friend and said yeah because it’s definitely a great cause,” said Kenedi Griffis, noting that she skipped being picked up by deputies.

“[My dad] picked me up from school because they were worried someone would start a rumor that I had actually done something,” she said.

The older Griffis said he’s been participating in the lock-up since he was a teenager. He enjoyed the chance to share the experience with his daughter.

“[Event organizers] said it was a two-for-one since they got to lock up two from the same house,” he said. “It’s good to work with her. I knew she would do a great job.”

Jailbird Jackie Martin said she was eager to help.

“It just seemed like such a clever way and a fun way to raise funds,” she said. “And there are worse places you could be locked up, I’ll say.”

Her “cell mate” Robin Rudisill agreed that the experience was fun.

“I’ve never ridden in a police car before and I got to ride in the front seat, so I was OK with that,” she said. And if this is the only jail I go to, I’m fine with that.”