Date: October 17, 2002 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact:

Michal Shanley, 863 534-6631 or 819-0397 pager

Sheriff and Senior Staff to Spend Night in Jail as Fundraiser for American Heart Walk

Polk County Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr., and 11 top Sheriff's Office commanders will check in to the Polk County Jail for a night's stay this Friday (Oct. 18, 2002) as a fundraiser for the American Heart Walk. The cost to "bond out" will be over $30,000 --  the amount raised by Sheriff's Office members for the American Heart Association Heart Walk scheduled for this Saturday, Oct. 19. Joining Sheriff Crow for a night behind bars will be Undersheriff Paul Alley, Colonel Grady Judd, Colonel Gary Hester, Colonel Willie Hall, Major Steve Lester, Major Dale Tray, Captain Joseph Watson, Captain Mark Decomo, Captain Danny Drew, Captain James Hogan, and Captain Kurt Lockwood.

As a fundraising incentive, Sheriff Crow and senior staff offered to spend the night in jail for the cause if members raised $10,000. Members went the extra mile, and raised more than $30,000 over a 3-month period! 

The jail birds - dressed in jail house stripes - will arrive at the South County Jail in Frostproof at approximately 6 p.m this Friday for book-in. Accommodations will include cell bunks and standard issue bed linens, and the jail kitchen will be open for fine dining. After serving their 12-hour sentence, they will be released at 6 a.m. the next morning.  Sheriff's Office members have put their best foot forward in supporting the 2002 Heart Walk.  Internal Sheriff's Office fundraisers for the walk have included everything from getting buzz cuts, selling ice cream and coffee, washing cars, auctioning parking spaces, to  soaking in dunk tanks. PCSO also has numerous teams participating in the national walk event that raises money through pledges.

"I am very proud of our agency's energetic participation in this campaign," said Colonel Grady Judd, who also serves as the Polk Chairman of the Heart Walk event. "This is just one example of how important this agency believes it is to contribute to the community we serve - especially for such an important endeavor as the Heart Walk."

The walk - to be held Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Sun N Fun pavilion - is an amateur, non-competitive event, designed for fun, exercise and wellness promotion.  Registration is at 8:30 am, and the walk begins at 9:30 a.m.  The fundraising goal this year for Polk County is $125,000.  Funds raised through the Heart Walk support research, community service and public and professional education programs. Please support the fight against heart disease and stroke - the leading causes of death in America.

NOTE TO MEDIA: Media is invited for photos and interviews at 6 p.m Friday as the Sheriff and staff arrive for their night's stay at South County Jail in Frostproof.

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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