Locked up for a good cause
Area elected officials and public figures spent an hour in time out Tuesday.
Several who serve Henderson, Oxford and Vance County served time in a make-shift jail as a way to raise money for Franklin-Granville-Vance Smart Start.
Oxford Mayor Jackie Sergent, one of the eight people jailed at Chick-fil-A, raised $320 during Time Out Tuesday.
The event is a fundraising effort by the local Smart Start that challenges participants to raise $250 during the hour they are locked up.
In Sergent’s case, she called potential donors before the event to ensure she would reach the goal.
“It’s a good organization and they do good work,” said Sergent, a first-time participant.
Garry Daeke, FGV Smart Start development coordinator, said the organization raised more than $3,000 during last year’s Time Out Tuesday.
The Tri-County Smart Start administers state funding to benefit children up to age 5 and their families through educational programs for children and parents.
The pre-K program is one example of the state-funded programs administered by FGV Smart Start.
During the 2012-2013 academic year, more than 400 4-year-olds in Franklin, Vance and Granville counties attended school through the endeavor.
Daeke said money from fundraisers goes towards Smart Start programs that receive little to no state funding, such as Reach Out and Read and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.
For Read Out and Read, Smart Start partners with five local medical care practices where doctors teach parents about the importance of reading to their children and send kids home with a brand-new age appropriate book.
The imagination library program, which provides books to children up to 5 years old, served 175 kids last fiscal year.
Daeke said the state legislature has decreased Smart Start funding more than 18 percent over the last two years.
“We use money from fundraisers to fill in the gaps where state funding doesn’t do it all,” he said.
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