Jail and Bail cancer fundraiser: fun event raises thousands for serious cause

Event has raised $3,500 and counting

Published on May 8, 2017

Dawn Thomas, Senior Safety Coordinator at the Digby RCMP stands with Megan Estabrooks in the holding cell as Nick Murphy of Sherriff Services cuffs her at the event. Everyone who was arrested was a good sport and the event was a success, according to organizer Niki Lewis.

©Sara Ericsson

DIGBY, NS – The Jail and Bail fundraiser for cancer has raised over $3,500 for the Canadian Cancer Society and is still accepting donations.

The event was held May 9 at the Digby Curling Club. Calls were received nominating people to be arrested and brought to the curling club to receive a charge, put in jail and raise bail to be released.

The funds received to bail people out were actually donations to the Canadian Cancer Society and will go towards helping those affected by cancer and more research.

Niki Lewis, event organizer and Southwest District Coordinator for the Canadian Cancer Society, says this year’s event – the first in 15 years – was a huge success.

“Everyone was a good sport and we all just had a really great time,” said Lewis.

“It was so nice to see everyone coming out and having fun for this great cause.”

More donations will be accepted this week in an aim to bring total funds raised to $4,000.

The first arrest of the day was Digby Elementary School principal Jonathan Ettinger, who was charged with “wearing crazy outfits at school, like the Christmas suit.”

Another person arrested was Dave McNutt, gym teacher at Digby Regional High School, charged with “failure to set up son’s trampoline.”

Clare-Digby MLA Gordon Wilson was at the event to sentence those arrested and set their bails. “What a great time this is. It’s awesome to see the community showing up and supporting this event,” he said.

©Sara Ericsson

Other charges included:

        ·      “Theft of neighbour’s flowers,”

        ·      “Sabotaging staff diets,”

        ·      “Wearing disgraceful Penguins jersey,” and

        ·      “Enjoying retirement too much.”

The event also received donations from the following local organizations, to which Lewis extends a heartfelt thank you:

        ·      Subway

        ·      Enterprise

        ·      Superstore

        ·      Digby Area Recreation Centre

        ·      Digby RCMP

        ·      Belliveau Motors

Many community members, along with officers from Digby’s RCMP detachment, helped at the event. Const. Colin Helm was one of several officers making arrests and driving people to the curling club and said people weren’t all that surprised when being arrested.

“By the time we got there they basically said, ‘are you here for me?’ And then we said ‘yes, can these people please come with us,’ everyone came out to witness it and take photos,” he said.

“It’s clear that it’s become a community event.”

Donations for cancer research can be made at any time at www.cancer.ca. Funds raised by this event and on the website go towards research, but also help run centres such as The Lodge that Gives, which accommodates patients and their families during treatment.

A Digby resident receives a charge and reacts accordingly. The event featured people being arrested on charges created by their nominators, for which they had to then raise “bail” for in order to be freed from jail. All proceeds go to the Canadian Cancer Society for cancer research and patient care.

©Sara Ericsson

An estimated 33 per cent of lodge guests are from Southwest Nova Scotia.

Donations are still being accepted for the event. To donate, people can contact Lewis by phone, at 902-247-5165, or by email at niki.lewis@ns.cancer.ca, to donate. Digby’s local CIBC branch is also accepting donations this week on behalf of the society.

The cancer society will also be hosting four upcoming Relay For Life events in the southwest region in Yarmouth, Digby, Lockeport and Clare.