Normally, someone going to jail is a pretty negative experience for everyone involved, but Thursday people were “jailed” for a good cause. The annual jail and bail fundraiser for Relay for Life brings in thousands of dollars every year for cancer research.
Relay for Life is a 24-hour event where teams walk in support of those who have battled cancer. Prior to the walk, the teams raise money and gain sponsors. The money goes towards cancer-related charities and research.
Relay for Life has been celebrated in Perry County for several years, but for the last five years one of the largest events hosted by the entire committee is the annual jail and bail. Relay for Life has set several lofty fundraising goals over the years of up to $150,000, and the jail and bail is one way to help reach that goal.
The Relay for Life committee for Perry County set up a makeshift jail outside of Walmart where groups involved in the charity can have someone “jailed” who then has to raise money for bail. The “prisoners” are given a phone book and must call around for donations.
Each year the jail and bail fundraiser generates thousands of dollars. This is due in part to how much the person getting the warrant sets the prisoner’s bail for.
Two of the people arrested were Circuit Court Clerk candidate Charles Patterson and Brandon Robinson, a weatherman for WYMT-TV. Patterson’s bail was set at $500, and Robinson’s is at $1,000.
Robinson said that he wasn’t technically arrested because he drove himself to jail, but normally people are picked up from work or home and taken to the makeshift penitentiary. The prisoner raises money for a specific team, so this even helps to raise money for all of Relay for Life, but it also helps team totals.
Robinson said he was hoping his fellow co-workers at WYMT would help him out with bail.
“I told them just to pass around a hat at the station,” he said.