About 50 of Tracy’s most prominent people were snatched from their jobs and homes Wednesday to be locked up in a makeshift “jail” in downtown.
They were told there was a warrant out for their arrest and asked to raise bail money to benefit Brighter Christmas, a charity that ensures every local child has a gift for Christmas.
“Can you please pledge some money to get me out of here” Ron Indran, deputy district attorney, pleaded with his co-workers over the phone. “Now I know when I ask for a high bail how the defendants feel.”
Brighter Christmas Director Gene Birk dressed in black judicial robes and set bails for each prisoner.
Diana Koron, executive director of the Downtown Business Improvement Area, had the highest bail at $2,000. By the time she was freed, Koron raised $100 more than her set bail.
David Ormonde of Realty World Millennium looked at his phone list as soon as he slipped into the required white-and-black prisoner’s uniform.
“I think I have about $400 left to raise,” Ormonde said after 20 minutes behind bars. “I’m not going to give up.”
Ten minutes later, Ormonde was set free after he raised $1,500.
The fundraiser brought in $8,000 in pledges, and Birk expects $5,000 more to come in.
Brighter Christmas volunteers took applications last week for food baskets and gifts from 656 families and seniors, including 1,474 children. Qualified families and every senior who applies will receive a food basket with a 20-pound turkey, fresh bread, tortillas and canned food, as well as gifts for each child.
The food baskets and gifts will be distributed Dec. 22.
To donate money, food or gifts: 839-9200.
To contact reporter Danielle MacMurchy, call 830-4280 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.