State College

On Centre | Centre Region: Doin’ hard time for a good cause

Prison changes a man.

I can’t speak to any of this personally, mind you. Growing up, my parents made it abudantly clear that if any of my adolescent shenanigans ever resulted in a trip to the big house, I would be left to figure my own way out.

Since I lack the ability to escape so much as a baggy sweater, I always thought it wise to stick closely to the straight and narrow and do my best to be a productive member of my community.

And next week the most productive members of my community are going to jail.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, local leaders from throughout Centre County will do a little time to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

About 120 participants will take turns occupying a cell in Toftrees Golf Resort and Conference Center — which is about as close as you can get to an actual country club prison.

Each of the jailbirds will be placed in handcuffs and have a mugshot taken before they start making phone calls to try and raise bail.

Hopefully, whoever they know on the outside has deep pockets.

The MDA has been sponoring the Lock-Up for 35 years and the proceeds make up a huge portion of its local budget. Last year the MDA raised $45,000, a number organizers would like to revisit, if not exceed, this time around.

That means making prison fun for jailbirds and visitors alike.

Lunch will be catered by Wings Over Happy Valley and a DJ will provide music.

If that still isn’t enough to make the prospect of rubbing elbows with a bunch of convicts sound appealing, donations can be made remotely by visiting