More than 20 Thunderbolts recently teamed up with the Muscular Dystrophy Association to help raise money during this year’s MDA Lockup event in downtown Phoenix.
Luke’s Airmen volunteered their time to act as “arresting officers” and transport “jailbirds” to the event site.
The event was an opportunity for Airmen to help the local community, according to Tech. Sgt. Michael Nelson, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels facilities supervisor and base representative for MDA.
“It’s a great event because people realize it’s all going to a great cause,” he said. “Our Airmen are happy to give to the community.”
Volunteers rode in teams of two, serving “arrest warrants” and driving prisoners to the MDA jail. After checking in at the event site, jailbirds call family, friends, coworkers and business colleagues to raise sponsorship money for children living with muscular dystrophy or other neuromuscular diseases.
Approximately 63 jailbirds attended this year’s event and helped raise $105,000 to send 131 boys and girls to the MDA summer camp next year. Business leaders and lawyers were among the jailbirds who generously donated their time and efforts to support MDA.
Melissa Mundt, MDA director of business development, said the MDA in Phoenix has always enjoyed a good relationship with the men and women of Luke.
“We like to work with the military and government employees because we know they are a trustworthy group for these events,” Mundt said. “They always come through for us, and we always get the number of volunteers we need.”
Mundt said a large part of the event’s success rests with the participation of volunteers from Luke.
“The volunteer drivers are a crucial part of the event,” she said. “We’re very thankful whenever we ask for volunteers and we get them. It’s nice to see people are willing to take a day off from work and help strangers.”
Luke Airmen look forward to opportunities to make a positive impact.
“It’s part of our responsibility as Airmen to support our local community and part of that is helping those who can’t help themselves,” Nelson said.