Lions on the prowl for ‘felons’

Duane Hicks

The Fort Frances Voyageur Lions Club is giving you or someone you know the chance to raise bail for a good cause–or do hard time behind bars.
Its annual “Bail or Jail” fundraiser will be held on Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Fort Frances Curling Club, in conjunction with the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce’s Business and Community Expo.
But you can’t have such a fundraiser without “felons” and that’s where the public comes in.
Club member Bill Michl told the Times that the club is looking for people to volunteer to take part in the fundraiser or at least give them names of people to whom they can send a “subpoena.”
Taking part in the event is a good way to not only support the Voyageur Lions but promote your business or organization.
The “accused” will be asked to raise a minimum of $300 in “bail” and then appear before a judge to answer to fictional, humourous charges at the “Bail or Jail” event on April 27.
The judge will ask them to pay their bail and, if possible, spend at least 15 minutes in the jail cell set up at the expo.
While behind bars, they can call up others to get even more bail money or even solicit bail from passers-by they know are good sports.
Michl noted some people pay to keep them in, some people pay to get them out.
If they’re truly pressed for time, the “felon” can drop off their bail on April 27 and leave.
Even though the accused are asked to raise a minimum of $300 to make bail, the Voyageur Lions Club is hoping participants bring in as much as they can.
Along with the “Polar Plunge” held on New Year’s Day each year, “Bail or Jail” is the most important fundraiser for the Voyageur Lions, Michl stressed.
Some other ones the group does, such as the “Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides” and diabetes tag day, go to larger organizations that indirectly may help local people.
But funds raised from the “Polar Plunge” and “Bail or Jail” go directly to local projects of the Voyageur Lions.
Last year’s “Bail or Jail” raised more than $4,000 but the amount raised has been as high as $10,000.
To have someone “subpoenaed” or to volunteer to go behind bars for a good cause, phone/text Michl at 276-1334 or e-mail him at
As well, look for the “Bail or Jail” nomination form ad in the March 13 and 27 editions of the Fort Frances Times.