Pictured: Some 50 volunteers who donated money or were served with warrants for their arrest and locked up at Chili's Restaurant Photo by OFELIA GARCIA HUNTER

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

Acidalia Mancinas was handcuffed by an officer Thursday at her work at E-Z Pawn, all for a good cause.

She said raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association hits close to home.

"Actually I had a cousin who died from Muscular Dystrophy," Mancinas said. "So I wanted to help."

Mancinas was one of about 50 volunteers who donated money or were served with warrants for their arrest and locked up at Chili's Restaurant so they could raise funds to post bond. Many worked the phones and called their friends and family to raise as much money as they could in one hour.

During the 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. event, Jim Wells County sheriff's deputies and Alice fire fighters helped to transport volunteers to the mock jail.

Imelda Cavazos and Rosie Daniels with DSI Corporation, were arrested by Lt. Cosme Castillo at their job site and taken into custody.

Berta Chapa, a representative with TESCO, manned the phones and had collected more than $600 for MDA at the command station at Chili's.

"Somebody nominated me, so I accepted," she said. "I'm trying to get as much as I can."

Another volunteer across from her, Patricia Bernal with Swinging Door Salon, agreed.

"I'm doing real good, I've collected about $400."

As part of the MDA Lock-up, the organization's goal was to raise $30,000.

"It's actually going real well so far," Michael Thomas, program coordinator, said. "Alice always does exceptionally well."

Thomas said that last year they raised $33,000.

"Our actual total will probably be in about two weeks as checks continue to come in," Thomas said. "By the afternoon, we had about $8,000."

Local volunteers have supported the cause for the last seven years to host Lock-ups and MDA summer camps for children with neuromuscular diseases.

The money collected from donations will help support local MDA services and research programs for 43 genetic diseases.

The local chapter helps more than 180 client Coastal Bend families with equipment such as wheelchairs and braces, and assists with medical care, all free to the client.

The organization helps clients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrigh's disease, myasthenia gravis, spinal muscular atrophies, Friedreich's ataxia and other neuromuscular diseases.