Crime Stoppers gearing up for ‘Bail or Jail’

The summons are out, and dozens of people will be appearing before the judge come April 29 and 30 when Fort Frances Crime Stoppers holds its second-annual “Bail or Jail” at the Memorial Sports Centre.
It’s once again being held in conjunction with the local Chamber of Commerce’s home and leisure show.
“We have 47 participants so far and we’re hoping to get more,” said Fort Frances OPP Cst. Caroline Spencer, a community services officer and Crime Stoppers liaison.
She added organizers have been busy coming up with humorous charges against “the accused.”
“We put a challenge out to all the principals in town, and so far we’ve got Brendan Hyatt [St. Francis], Gord McCabe [FFHS], Donna Kowalchuk and Bill Daley [J.W. Walker], and Dianne Thompson from Huffman,” Cst. Spencer said.
“I’m still trying to get Penny Newman from Robert Moore,” she added.
Cst. Spencer said an example of a humorous charge would be the summons for McCabe, accusing him of “Enthusiastically Pepping Up the Rally” contrary to the Principal’s Decorum Act.
She also noted anyone who would like to participate, go to “trial,” and try to raise at least $100 in bail can contact her weekdays at 274-3322.
Cst. Spencer said this year’s fundraiser will be much like last year’s, which saw about 40 individuals agree to be “summoned” for a “trial” at the Memorial Sports Centre over the two days of the home and leisure show.
Those summoned were charged with various humorous “crimes” (such as making loud noises when they sit down and eat their lunch) and then asked to raise a certain amount of bail.
They then would appear before one of several guest judges to have their cases heard.
If they so chose, they could go to jail (a “cell” at the arena) and try and raise even more money. About 15 people agreed to do this.
Cst. Spencer acted as bailiff during the two-day event. “I had a hoot,” she remarked. “Everybody I talked to enjoyed it.”
Last year’s “Bail or Jail” fundraiser raked in about $12,500 for the local Crime Stoppers program.
The participant who raised the most bail was Laurie Walsh (playing the outlandish character “Stubby Poke”—a member of a hillbilly family first established by Fort Frances
Please see “Crime,” P4