Locals land in lock-up looking for loot

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Some of Craig's leading residents were in jail Thursday, awaiting "bail" from their friends and relatives as part of a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Waitresses, who were dressed as police officers, escorted the prisoners to their cell for a photograph and then ushered them off to a table where they served their sentences while dining on fried chicken. The meal was provided by hosts Delbert and Diana Knez, owners of the O.P. Bar & Grill.

'This year, we decided to dress as cops," waitress Sarah Fox said, polishing her badge. "It depends on who it is, if we grab them and put them behind the bars."

Good customers and hundreds of other donors helped raise nearly $13,000 at last year's "lock-up." This year is on track to raise just as much, association district director Ali Sanchez said.

"We had a couple of extra weeks to get more pledges for money," Sanchez said, referring to a two-week delay in the "lock-up" because of a scheduling conflict. "Our volunteer prisoners also can accept donations for the two weeks following the event."

Theresa Schneider from Back--woods Diner donned a striped shirt Thursday and had her picture taken in the cell. This is her first year in the "lock-up," and she owes a lot of her bail to customers at her restaurant.

"We put a coffee pot by the cash register, and lots of customers put money in it," Schneider said. "We have good customers."

Sanchez and her associates hold nine "lock-up" fundraisers on the Western Slope each summer. Each volunteer has a goal of raising $1,200, which is the cost of sending two children affected by muscular dystrophy to summer camp in Empire.

The camp will be filled to capacity this year, with 50 kids in camp for two weeks.

"The great news is that the kids are going to camp," Sanchez said. "The bad news is that we have 100 kids with muscular dystrophy here in Colorado and Wyoming."

Another fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association is the "Fill the Boot" campaign, which takes place every summer and culminates on Labor Day weekend with help from firefighters across the country.

In 2005, the Western Slope of Colorado raised $77,000 from donors dropping bills into a firefighter's boot. Statewide, the total reached $800,000.

The association reports that it is on the brink of finding a cure for duchenne muscular dystrophy. And, the Food and Drug Administration recently approved treatment for Pompe disease. The diseases are two of the 43 types of muscular dystrophy.

For Virginia Roth, an 81 year-old retired postmaster from Florida, the two-week delay of the event gave her time enough to raise more money for the cause.

"At least I got 45 more dollars," Roth said. "I figured if I didn't have the $1,200, they wouldn't let me out."

Roth just can't say 'no' to events like this, she said. Her son was set to come in Thursday afternoon to become another "prisoner."

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