MDA arrests more than $10K from 'prisoners'

Posted: Friday, October 15, 2010

The Muscular Dystrophy Association Alaska Chapter raised more than $10,000 in Juneau on Thursday with its "Behind Bars" fundraiser at Bullwinkle's Pizza downtown.

Michael Penn/Juneau Empire
Michael Penn/Juneau Empire

MDA regional director Gavin Johnson explained how the fundraiser works. Volunteers, or "jailbirds" as they're called in the fundraiser call friends and business associates to try to raise their "bails" of $1,600.

The fundraising coordinator, Sally Dial, said nine individuals from a wide range of professions showed up to raise money, with hundreds more volunteers collecting donations online over the last two months.

Those volunteering their time ranged from a firefighter to a drummer to numerous business leaders.

One volunteer was Troy Andrew, owner of Fisherman's Bend and Andrew's Marina in Auke Bay. He raised $1,060 within one hour. He said this was his first time working with the MDA but thought it was a worthwhile cause after hearing about the fundraiser.

Another volunteer was Pat Travers, the pastor of St. Paul's Catholic Church. He raised half his quota in an hour and said he would stay as long as he could to raise more. He said he got involved after someone suggested his name to the organization.

"I thought it was such a good thing, especially with young people with this serious disease," he said.

While most collections were done over the phone, Egan Express Lube brought in a sack of more than $500 in collected change.

Dial said five such fundraisers are done statewide each year with rotating locations. It will be held here again in three years.

Contact reporter Jonathan Grass at 523-2276 or at

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