Jail 'N Bail raises money for Dystonia research

Wednesday is the last day to sign up to have a friend put in jail.

The Alumni Center, along with the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, is hosting the second annual Jail N' Bail Fundraiser to raise awareness and money for dystonia Research.

Created by alum Laura Ernstberger and sister, junior Sarah Ernstberger, Jail N' Bail raises money by offering students to pay $10 to jail other students and faculty in the Alumni Center. Postcards will be mailed to those who are summoned to go to jail.

While in jail, the person detained must raise money by asking for donations over the telephone. After the required bail of $20 has been raised, the "jailed" person is set free. Arrangements are made with the student to be jailed to establish a time for the arrest. If no compromise is made, the arrest is called off. Inability to raise bail before the end of the fund-raising event results in a release.

The Dystonia Medical Research Foundation is celebrating its 25th year in raising money for dystonia research. According to the Johns Hopkins Parkinson's Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic, dystonia is a precursor to Parkinson's disease in which some cases involve rhythmic trembling of hands, head, legs, torso and voice.

It is estimated more than 300,000 cases of this genetic disorder exist in North America. The only known effective treatment is injections of Botulium Toxin, which is more commonly known for its use in biological weapons.

Sarah is a photo-journalism major and has had dystonia for 12 years, but needs special equipment for her photography work.

"I was left-handed and now I am right-handed," she said. "I have hired someone to take notes for me in classes."

Sarah is involved in the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority and is involved in the Junior Advisory board, which helps to create fund-raising opportunities for other on-campus organizations.

"I do everything a normal student does," Sarah said.

With the increased help for this year's event, Ernstberger hopes to see a huge success.

"Last year's Jail N' Bail was a huge success," she said. "We were able to raise nearly $3000 for the Dystonia foundation.

Applications to have someone jailed can be found at www.disabilityeducation.homestead.com/jail.html. The deadline for all applications is 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Transportation and security for the event are being arranged by fraternities Alpha Tau Omega and Theta Chi and sororities Alpha Omicron Pi and Chi Omega.


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