By Lt. Reagen Athey, AA/Public Information Officer
Pleasant Valley State Prison
Employees at Pleasant Valley State Prison recently put their heads together to create an innovative way to raise money for charity – by “locking up” kind-hearted coworkers.
During the California State Employees Charitable Campaign (CSECC) committee meetings, members brainstormed ways to raise money for the Staff Appreciation Day and Barbecue. One suggested a quirky way to raise enough money and donate to a non-profit organization. The event was dubbed “Doin’ Time on Your Dime” and the group selected Valley Children’s Hospital as beneficiary.
People could confidentially purchase a warrant for $25 to have someone “arrested.” Once arrested, the staff member needed to raise $50 to post “bail.” A “wanted” poster was created, along with a pledge form, and posted in the Administration Building for everyone to see. People could list their donations if they so chose.
A jail cell was fabricated, the IST Lieutenant acted as the Judge, and other staff were the Bailiff and Deputies. The arrests and bail were conducted over a three-day span, with close to 50 staff members getting arrested.
During court, many staff were found to be in contempt, which cost them an extra $5-$20, depending on the severity, which was donated directly to Valley Children’s Hospital.
On each of the three days, CSECC held a food fundraiser, offering different options on each day ranging from popcorn and snow cones to hot dogs and a bake sale.
Money is still being collected. However, with the food sales, fundraiser, contempt fees and extra donations, organizers expect the fundraiser to fetch close to $5,000.
The event was such a success, it will become an Annual event, with a different non-profit each year.