ELIZABETHTOWN — There will be no getting out of jail free this year, according to Elizabethtown Attorney David Wall.
Wall serves as treasurer for the Bladen County Educational Foundation, a nonprofit corporation that assists and provides support for public education in the Mother County. The Foundation is holding its 10th annual Jail-A-Thon to raise money for its services.
“Thanks to you, our Jail-A-Thon last year was the most successful one yet in raising funds for the schools,” Wall said in a letter to supporters, “and we hope that we can again break that record this year.”
The fundraiser, which normally raises about $5,000 for education, involves participants being “arrested” and brought to the Board of Education building, where they don black-and-white-striped attire over their clothes and have a large, plastic ball chained to their ankles. Trumped-up charges are read against the criminal, and bail is set. Participants are able to call others to donate to the Foundation in order to effect their release.
Charges against the participants cover a wide range of offenses. Usually related to the criminal’s job or community standing, they can range from an athletic coach’s bribery of a sports official or a grant writer’s providing false information to a business owner’s selling stolen goods. Fines might be anywhere from $20 to $200 to escape.
“We have had lots of fun the past several years and have raised quite a bit of money, which we distribute to the schools of Bladen County,” Wall said.
So that no reputations are sullied in the name of fun, potential participants are mailed letters ahead of time stating they have been selected for arrest. Volunteers are allowed to schedule their arrest at a convenient time and location, and anyone not willing to participate is able to opt out.
Anyone willing to participate or suggest someone for arrest may call David Wall at 910-862-1488. Contributions may be made on site the day of the Jail-A-Thon.
The event will take place Thursday, April 19, from 1 to 5 p.m at the Bladen County Board of Education, located at 1489 U.S. 701 South in Elizabethtown.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing email@example.com.