PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

August 7, 2013

“Jailbirds” raise money for MDA Summer Camp

Mary Meaux
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — Jailbirds filed into Texas Roadhouse, posed for a mug shot then got to work raising their bail money during a busy Wednesday.

Instead of keeping the jailbird out of jail, the bail money is used to send a child with muscular dystrophy to summer camp through the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Mid-County Executive Lock-Up.

The Rev. Toney Miller of First United Methodist Church in Nederland entered the eatery with a small request; to have his “mug shot” taken with his cell phone.

“A friend said he’d send $76 if I sent a picture,” Miller said.

Miller didn’t name the person who pledged the money but said the two graduated high school together in 1976 and were long time friends.

“This is a good thing,” he said of the fundraising event. “As a pastor I believe in helping the community. Action is a pretty thing.”

Miller was met by Eugene Davis and his two sons Khayman, 13, and Kay, 10, of Port Neches. Davis and his oldest son has been diagnosed with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy or FSH. He believes his youngest son may also have the condition and will be tested in the future. FSH is a genetic muscle disorder in which the muscles of the face, shoulder blades and upper arms are among the most affected, according to mda.org

The Davises have been involved with MDA for a number of years for various services and volunteering during the Lock-Up is a way for them to give back, the father said.

“It was their idea to help out,” Davis said of his sons to which the boys added it “felt great” to help.

Lauren Lockhart, MDA fundraising coordinator, explained that it takes $800 to send one child to the camp for a week in Burton, Texas, and $2,400 to send three children.

“Over 100 kids go to the camp every year and it’s 100 percent handicap accessible,” she said. “They can do zipline, horseback riding, canoeing ...”

The camp also allows for other activities such as swimming, adaptive sports, fishing, archery and more.

“My favorite part is the pool,” she said. “To see all the kids in the pool, their wheelchairs lined up against the fence.”

An additional MDA fundraiser is scheduled for next month — Break a Clay for MDA. The event is slated for Saturday, Sept. 21 at the 1-in-100 Gun Club in Lumberton. For more information about the event, call 838-4545.

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews