Close to 200 area business leaders were sent an “arrest warrant” recently, and many of those leaders were “arrested” and forced to “post bail” on Thursday.

Close to 200 area business leaders were sent an “arrest warrant” recently, and many of those leaders were “arrested” and forced to “post bail” on Thursday.

It was all in the name of charity, however, as the MDA Lock-Up at Parrot Bey put local leaders behind bars to raise money for muscular dystrophy.

“What we do is ask local business leaders to refer other leaders to this event, and we set their ‘bail’ at $800, which is the cost to send one child with muscular dystrophy to a summer camp,” said Lacey Washburn, Joplin area Muscular Dystrophy Association executive director.

There was something for everyone involved with the Lock-Up. Those being locked up got food and entertainment, but also used the time they were at the event to raise funds.

“They come not only because they are having a great time while they are here. We always try to put the fun in fundraising,” Washburn said. “But they also come because they know they are helping out the local community. When they are here, they are calling their friends, their family and vendors. They tell them they’re in jail and ask to donate $25 or whatever they ask for to get out of jail.”

While there was food and more at the event, there were plenty of reminders of the jail motif, from bright orange jumpsuits to a behind-the-bars area designed for classic mugshots.

Although the goal of $800 is designed as a cost equal to summer camp costs, that’s not exactly where the money raised by the Lock-Up goes. The money takes care of wheelchairs, leg braces, flu shots and more.

The MDA Lock-Up is not the only fundraiser for the MDA. The MDA also gets funds from the annual “Boot Drive,” which is done with the help of local firefighters, who stand at intersections and ask for donations.

“One of the things we’re getting ready to change is the Boot Drive, which you typically see at 29th and Broadway and Centennial and Broadway,” Washburn said. “Usually, that takes place during Labor Day weekend. Due to excessive heat, we are moving that up to May.”

All told, the MDA set its goal for $15,000 for the Lock-Up on Thursday. Washburn said the event is more important than just cash; It’s about supporting families fighting muscular dystrophy.

“It’s very important to Pittsburg, and we have a lot of great sponsors,” she said. “We get no funds from United Way, and no funds from the government. Our funding comes from the great people in our community. That’s one of the neatest things in our organization — that we are fully suported by the public.”

Andrew Nash can be reached at andrew.nash@morningsun.net or by calling 231-2600 ext. 140.