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MDA Lock-Up

“You’re one of Newton’s Most Wanted.”

I was going about my daily routine at the newspaper when my office phone rang. I used my typical “Newsroom, this is Pam,” greeting when this phrase was spoken back to me.

Now my first thought was, I haven’t done anything wrong, then panic set in for a brief moment. It’s strange how quickly your mind can move in that short timeframe; however, as I listened to the nice lady (I wish I had her name) explain that it was all to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association, I became excited.

I was going to be “locked up” for my lunch hour. I was told I would don the black and white stripes and take a mugshot for my wanted poster. All I had to do was raise “bail money” in order to be released. All of my bail money would go directly to MDA to help send children affected by the illness with research and a week-long trip to Camp Courageous in Monticello. I knew the camp and the opportunities it provided, so I immediately agreed to be a part of the day.

When was this supposed to happen? July 19, My heart sank. I will be out of state at Target Field watching my beloved Yankees battle the Twins. The tickets were purchased months ago, meaning I would not be able to participate in the Newton Lock Up after all. However, that didn’t stop me from wanting to contribute.

I still received my bail packet and an email from my parole officer, Derek. I explained the situation to him, and he was happy I was still wanting to contribute. I nominated another person in my place, in hopes that person would be able to participate. I can’t say who, I’m in witness protection.

The reason I was so compelled in the first place to join the campaign was because I had prior experience with the organization. I had helped with MDA a little in college. As part of my Communication Arts 101 class, we were to pick an organization or group on campus and help them with promotion. I knew Wartburg’s Music Therapy Association president and immediately reached out to Allison. I asked if she had any upcoming events she wanted help promoting.

She had one in mind immediately. The group was planning to get a team together to walk in the MDA Muscle Walk in Waterloo. I helped create flyers, wrote a radio ad and designed other materials to get the word out in hopes of getting many students and staff involved in raising money for the organization.

The reason Allison had picked the walk was she worked with kids with MDA through her major and through her summer job, a councilor at Camp Courageous. That is how I knew all about the camp.

The Newton Lock-Up event will take place at July 19 at DMACC. All who turn themselves in will be there for about an hour over their lunch break. Anyone who would like to contribute to MDA and help a fellow Newtonian get out of lock up should check out to see all the jailbirds participating. If you are able, consider helping them post their bail, whether you know the person or not. Remember it all goes to a great cause.

So even though I missed my chance to wear prison stripes and raise my own bail money, I am hoping people here in Newton will still find a way to participate and help other “jailbirds” get free.

Contact Pam Rodgers at

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