I’m a quasi-celebrity, get me out of here!
I had made a vow to myself that I would start saying “No!” when asked to add to my already full plate, but when I got the call to be put behind bars for the annual MDA Lock-Up, I had a personal reason for saying “Yes!” this time around.
It was that summer during college when I worked in the Waynesboro parks and rec department summer camp as a counselor for what we called the special pops kids. Talk about an eye-opening experience – that was a summer full of them, with kids facing a variety of physical and other challenges that I could never imagine being able to overcome, and yet they fought the battle every day against all odds.
The MDA Lock-Up raises money for the annual summer camp for children with muscular dystrophy held at Smith Mountain Lake. The way it’s described to me, the camp is a week in the summer where kids with muscular dystrophy get to enjoy life the way kids without disabilities do – swimming, dancing, canoeing, riding horses, playing sports.
I know firsthand from my experience in college working with disabled kids that it made a world of difference to them to be able to do all of those things in a summer-fun setting.
It meant just as much to me to play the infinitesimally small part that I did for a few weeks one summer helping bring a sense of enjoyment to their lives.
The way the MDA Lock-Up works is I have to raise money for my bail. Time is running short on me here because I am so busy. The Lock-Up is Wednesday, so I have two days to try to raise my bail money, a hefty $2,400. I’m hoping I can work out some sort of work-release program so that if I haven’t raised the entire amount by my scheduled release time of 11 a.m. I can maybe get them the rest of the money in the next couple of weeks.
If you’re reading this and have something to share to make a kid’s summer a little brighter, please feel free to do so.
The web address to bail me out is https://www.joinmda.org/2009augustacounty/freepress2/.
On behalf of the kids who will get to go to summer camp because of your help, I share our gratitude.
– Column by Chris Graham