Fire chief locked up… for MDA

Fire chief locked up… for MDA

Gilroy
– Two Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies slapped handcuffs on
Fire Chief Dale Foster Wednesday morning, stuck him in the back of
a paddy wagon, and hauled him off to jail.

Jail

was actually located in a Gilroy restaurant, where Foster and
other city and business leaders were held on $1,800 bail as a
fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
By Lori Stuenkel

Gilroy – Two Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies slapped handcuffs on Fire Chief Dale Foster Wednesday morning, stuck him in the back of a paddy wagon, and hauled him off to jail.

“Jail” was actually located in a Gilroy restaurant, where Foster and other city and business leaders were held on $1,800 bail as a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

“I just think it’s a great cause and I want to support that as best I can,” Foster said.

Foster arrived at the “jail” set up in Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar with $50 in his pocket. Although participants in the fundraiser had the option of gathering pledges before the lock-up, Foster had none.

“Warden” Heather Ripley, a program coordinator out of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s San Jose office, handed Foster a cell phone that would be his only connection to people on the outside who would pony up money for bail.

“The whole fire department knows I’m here, so it’s just a matter of getting the engine companies to come out,” he said.

Another fundraiser at the lock-up, James Oliver, sat in the table just behind Foster and sharply pounded on a small metal bell provided by the MDA, to let everyone know he’d received a pledge: Ken Moreno presented Oliver with a $1,000 check on behalf of Moreno’s Heart to Heart Foundation, bringing Oliver’s total to $1,300.

“Today, it’s hard to raise money,” Moreno said. “Because I have a foundation, I know.”

Oliver, sales manager at Coastal Tractor in Gilroy, heartily thanked his friend before sitting down to raise the $500 left of his bail.

“I have a palm pilot full of people, so I’m just going down the list,” Oliver said.

Other lock-up participants – 30 to 40 in all, including City Clerk Rhonda Pellin and Community Development Director Wendie Rooney – were to be picked up and brought to Applebee’s throughout the day, according to the warden.

“We have people from all different kinds of businesses, as well as city officials,” Ripley said.

Mark Zappa, owner of Zapp-a-Form printing service, said Wednesday’s event was his fifth time raising funds for MDA.

“It’s definitely a good cause, and although I don’t personally know anyone with muscular dystrophy, it seems like a very debilitating disease,” he said.

The $1,800 bail is enough to send three children to an MDA summer camp, or will be used to fund clinic time or research, and all the money stays local, Ripley said.

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