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United Fund ‘lock up’ needs volunteers

Escambia County High School principal Dennis Fuqua is "taken into custody" during last year's United Fund lock up event. Fuqua is one of several local citizens who has agreed to be "arrested" later this year, and not be released until raising at least $500 in "bail money" for the United Fund.

Escambia County High School principal Dennis Fuqua is “taken into custody” during last year’s United Fund lock up event. Fuqua is one of several local citizens who has agreed to be “arrested” later this year, and not be released until raising at least $500 in “bail money” for the United Fund.

Hey, Atmore citizens! You’re wanted … to be “wanted.”

The 2015 United Fund of Atmore is holding its annual “Lock Up” event on Tuesday, Oct. 21, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Atmore City Hall. Those who participate in the event will be “arrested” at their place of business and then transported to a “jail” at city hall, where they will stay until raising $500 in donations for bail.

It’s an event that is always in good fun and also raises lots of money for the United Fund, according to 2015 United Fund president Bub Gideons. This year’s goal is to raise $20,000 at the lock up — a significant portion of the overall goal of $60,000 for the annual campaign.

“We love it when our participants ‘resist arrest,’” Gideons said jokingly. “However, with Atmore’s finest in charge — it is futile. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and we help so many local groups and organizations.”

Several celebrities have already signed up to participate as “jail birds,” including Dennis Fuqua, Katie Harrison, the Rev. Monroe Tucker, Coleman Wallace, Ben Odom, Sarah Frances Thompson, Allen Watson, Susan Smith and Jim Staff. However, there are still many spots available and anyone is welcome to join in the fun.

Those who wish to participate can email Gideons at bub@phdrealty.com, or call him at (251) 359-6523.

“We also invite the Poarch Police Department to get in on the action, and bring in some PCI celebrities to ‘serve time,’” Gideons said. “It’s great fun and it serves our local groups and activities. Local is our middle name!”

The United Fund supports the following agencies: Progressive Civic & Recreational Club, American Red Cross, Escambia County Healthcare Authority, Atmore Area Christian Care Ministry, Atmore Girls Softball Program, Friends of Education of Escambia County, Escambia County Cooperative Library System, Atmore Public Library, Pride of Atmore/Save the Strand, Goodwill Easter Seals of the Gulf Coast, Concerned Citizens of Atmore, Atmore Cal Ripken Baseball, Atmore Babe Ruth Baseball Program, Atmore Pee Wee Football Program, Greater Escambia Council for the Arts, Atmore Area YMCA and the Atmore Tee Ball League.

Companies can give one-time, corporate donations, or can set up giving programs through voluntary payroll deduction programs from employees. Individuals can also donate through the mail at “P.O. Box 823, Atmore, AL 36504.”