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JAIL: Leaders locked up for good cause

July 9, 2012

Photo contributed Blake (left) Van Houten and his brother and Cole (right) Van Houten serve as Goodwill Ambassadors for the MDA and are both living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Their disease is hereditary, but Blake was not diagnosed until after Cole was born. They are the sons of Brian and Casey Van Houten.

COLUMBIA CITY ­— The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is locking up business and community leaders in Whitley County on Tuesday.
These jailbirds will serve their one hour jail sentence between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Paige’s Crossing in Columbia City.
The event to raise money for MDA benefits local Whitley County residents.
Blake Van Houten and his brother Cole are both diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystropy.
The boys serve as Goodwill Ambassadors for the MDA.
As each participant works to get out of jail, bail money is raised.
The“bail” has been set at $2,400 for each participant. This will send three children with muscle disease in Northeast Indiana to MDA’s annual summer camp.
It will also provide funding to help find a cure for the muscle disease.
In addition to summer camp and research to find a cure, Muscular Dystrophy (MDA) also works hard at fundraising to provide services to more than 500 individuals living with neuromuscular disease in Northeast Indiana.
Some of the services provided include the local MDA clinic at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, flu shots for every individual registered with the MDA, repair & loan of durable medical equipment and support groups and seminars.
MDA does not receive any government or United Way funding and relies on the support of volunteers and fundraising efforts.
The organization takes great pride in the fact that 77 percent of the funds raised goes directly back to the services provided for the children and adults served.
MDA is a voluntary health agency working to defeat more than 40 neuromuscular diseases through worldwide research, comprehensive medical and community services, and far-reaching professional and public health education.
MDA maintains some 230 clinics nationwide, including a local clinic at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne.
MDA was the first nonprofit organization honored with the American Medical Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award “for significant and lasting contribution to the health and welfare of humanity.”
MDA is dedicated to the eradication of muscular dystrophies, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), myasthenia gravis, spinal muscular atrophies, Friedreich’s ataxia and a host of other neuromuscular diseases. For more information on MDA, visit
For more information regarding the Whitley County lock-up, contact the Northeast Indiana MDA Office at 486-6698 or via e-mail at

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