Burlington fundraiser seeks captive audience

Published 9:48 am Monday, August 13, 2012

BURLINGTON — You won’t get to pass Go. You can’t collect $200. But you will go to jail.

Come up with $100 and your stay won’t be long and it will go to a good cause — restoring the Burlington Jail.

That will be the scenario on Oct. 20, when it’s “Jail or Bail,” for the project to restore the last existing government building in Burlington, the one-time seat of Lawrence County.

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“We are targeting business people, school personnel,” Harriette Ramsey, a member of the newly formed jail committee, said. “You can turn yourself in. You can pay your bail in advance and not got to jail. As bail is raised, you can get out. But you are in there until you do.”

And those jailed will receive a free mug shot, suitable for framing or not, and will spend their incarceration under a tent near the old jail with hot dogs and barbecue available.

The committee’s goal is to raise from $4,000 to $5,000 to finish the second floor of the jail. The renovation was begun as a county commission project in 2003 as the county’s contribution to the Ohio Bicentennial celebration. But since then restoration efforts have lagged until the formation of the current committee in July.

Right now there is approximately $5,000 leftover from the earlier restoration effort. Organizers estimate about $10,000 is needed to complete the second floor, plus cover incidental expenses. The goal is to turn the structure into a repository of Lawrence County’s history and a community meeting room.

“Bail or Jail” will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and donations made to the jail project are tax-deductible.