The WestEnd in Chicago played host to community and business leaders participating in the River West Most Wanted Lock-Up on March 12, 2008. These individuals, served with warrants for their "big hearts", agreed to be incarcerated for one hour while working to raise their $1300 bail to benefit the Chicago MDA.
This one day event raised more than $26,000 for the MDA. Gina Iorio, Program Coordinator, said "These jailbirds were awesome. Their hearts are huge and they used their time in ‘jail’ to do so much good."
When asked to reflect on the Lock-Up, the entire staff of the Chicago MDA wanted to express their thanks and gratitude to all of the community leaders and local business professionals that took time out of their schedules to be "locked up". Says ‘Parole Officers’ Emily Niles and Erin Brown, "The entire Muscular Dystrophy Association and the families we serve are very thankful for each jailbird’s participation in the event."
The funds raised at the event will be used to benefit thousands of families in the Chicago area with neuromuscular diseases. This money will allow those with muscular dystrophy to go to our various MDA clinics across Chicagoland, provide funds for support group sessions, send children with MD to summer camp, and fund vital research. MDA is leading the way in the research for neuromuscular diseases, and with the help of people, such as the "jailbirds" they hope to seek the causes of and effective treatments for muscular dystrophy.
Chicago Producers president Bill Vala was served a warrant for his arrest for having a big heart. "I was pleased to be able to help with the fund raising and elated to have reached my personal goal of $1300. The MDA needs our help and I am humbled to do my part for the cause."