PORT EWEN – On Wednesday, July 16, Ulster BOCES Career & Technical Center Director Marita Kitchell was "arrested" and "locked up" to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). The "Lock-Up" is one of the charity organization’s premier fundraising events.
The MDA’s volunteer arresting officer, City of Kingston firefighter Mark Carpino of Local 461, arrived at the Ulster BOCES campus in Port Ewen during the afternoon to arrest and transport Kitchell, the jailbird, to a holding facility at Mariner’s Harbor in Kingston.
Accused of having a big heart and being heavily armed with kindness, Kitchell volunteered to be part of the MDA’s Lock-Up in order to raise "bail" contributions from friends, family, co-workers, and business contacts for the health charity. According to the MDA, the money raised will directly benefit families in the greater Kingston area who are living with progressive muscle diseases such as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Periodic Paralysis, and Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
Upon arrival, the judge set Kitchell’s "bail" at $2,400, which would allow her to be released on good behavior. Using her cell phone, Kitchell quickly put out the call for help. After initial salutations, you could hear Kitchell’s plea, "Actually I’m not doing so well. I was arrested for having a big heart and I need your help in posting bail." After a short pause she would say, "No, I’m not kidding. I’m in jail and I need your help."
Joelle Monaco, executive director of the regional MDA office, said, "This fundraiser isn’t all about the money. It’s also about community and having a good time."
Kitchell remarked, "I was happy to go ‘behind bars’ along with other community leaders to help raise critical funds for the MDA." She added that the "lock-up" theme made for some interesting conversations back at the office.
The MDA’s goal was to raise $50,000. By 2 PM, the fundraising "goal board" reached $15,000.
In addition to calling and receiving pledges, the jailbirds were able to network with one another and enjoy a complimentary lunch provided by Mariner’s Harbor. Kitchell said jokingly, "Who knew that being locked-up could be so fulfilling."
If you’d like to make a donation on behalf of Marita Kitchell, you can still do so by visiting www.mda.org and typing "lock up" in the search bar.
For more information about the MDA’s Lock-Up campaign, please contact Joelle Monaco at 845-489-5495.