Imprisoned for charity

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October 1, 2015 8:15 AM

Josef Jacobson Photo Lloydminster Economic Development Corporation CEO Ward Read was locked up as part of the Canadian Cancer Society's first Lloydminster Jail-N-Bail fundraiser.

On Sept. 29, Lloydminster residents had the opportunity to be arrested for a good cause, as the Canadian Cancer Society held its first Jail-N-Bail fundraiser in Lloydminster at LloydMall.

Arrest warrants were placed on 20 individuals, including six without their knowledge. Those suspects were brought in, photographed and placed in a holding cell. The inmates, clad in orange jumpsuits, sat behind bars waiting to be bailed out, with the money going towards the Canadian Cancer Society.

Justice was meted out by members of the Lloydminster Comprehensive High School Improv Club. Armed with wigs and gavels, the students put participants on trial and sentenced them to be held until their bail fee was met.

Among the imprisoned was Lloydminster Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) CEO Ward Read. According to the LEDC, Read was busted for “destruction of property while golfing.” He said his children were worried when he said he was being arrested, but then explained that it was for charity.

“This is how I ever want to go to jail is supporting the Cancer Society,” Read said.

“I’ve, like so many people, had family and friends who have had cancer and some have battled it and won and others have not. So this is a pretty simple thing I can do to help my friends, my family and everyone else.”

Read says that while charities often hold more conventional door-to-door fundraisers, a public event like Jail-N-Bail is a good way to catch people’s attention and raise money.

Canadian Cancer Society managing specialist Joyce Pawlowski sat at a table overseeing the jail cell, processing arrests and handing out orange jumpsuits. Although the Canadian Cancer Society had been holding Jail-N-Bail fundraisers for nearly three decades, this was a Lloydminster first.

She says in communities the size of Lloydminster the Cancer Society hopes to raise $17,500 from the Jail-N-Bail.

“We’ve done this in Saskatchewan since 1986,” Pawlowski said. “It’s just bringing more awareness to the community and it’s a fun event. Everybody enjoys it.”

Back in his cell, Read waits for his bail to be met. He says although he wants his freedom, its important that he pays his debt to the Cancer Society.

“It’s twofold,” he said. “You always want to get out of jail as quickly as possible, but the more money that I’m able to raise is a good thing.”

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