By Beverly Perkins
Many went directly to jail, and did not pass go, but the American Cancer Society (ACS) collected much more than $200 during David Singer’s 26th annual “Jail & Bail” event. The Hollywood attorney responsible for chairing the anticipated ACS fundraiser raised $175,000 during this year’s festivities, surpassing his $5 million fundraising goal for the organization.
For more than two decades, the event has employed an innovative technique for raising money with fake arrests, real police and mock court trials overseen by ‘Judge’ David Singer himself and some loyal volunteers.
This was the first phase of the two-part event which concluded with the legendary “Up the River Cruise” last month. David Singer Co-hosted the spectacular event with Broward State Attorney Mike Satz & Sheriff Scott Israel. The proceeds all benefit the American Cancer Society, which uses the funds for research, education and patient services.
As in years past, Singer has selected people to form his ‘parole board’ who are taught how to find ‘jailbirds’ (or people whom they want to have “arrested”). Volunteers on the ‘parole board’ may have their worst enemy or best friend arrested and thrown in jail for this good cause. After being thrown in ‘jail,’ the jailbirds make pledge calls seeking ACS donations, aka bail money. If they can raise enough money through pledging, they get out of jail.
This year Broward County Clerk of Court Brenda Forman, Famed Hip Hop DJ Michelle Pooch and Laura Fuentes were arrested by real Broward County Sheriff Office deputies, packed into a paddy wagon and brought to the Jail & Bail headquarters (the lobby of the Sheraton Suites Hotel) for their trials before ‘Judge’ Singer. Some defendants had to face ‘Judge’ Mitch Ceasar, the longtime chair of the Broward Democratic Party.
This year’s honorary chair, Congresswoman Gwen Graham believes in the mission of the American Cancer Society. “Last year, the fight against cancer became personal for my family when my husband, Steve, was diagnosed with stage-four prostate cancer. Throughout his battle, the ACS provided great information and support to our family,” she said. “I’m humbled to serve as the honorary chair for the Jail and Bail fundraiser and to support this organization which has helped so many families across our state and country.”
“This was a highly satisfying year,” said Singer. “We tipped the scales at $5 million and I am very proud indeed, especially of Jail & Bail’s sponsors, like Kerney Plumbing, Lipton Toyota, Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, Diana Charles Atlas and Presenting Sponsor, CitiMed Group.”
Even though the makeshift jail has been taken down, jailbirds will continue to raise money for the American Cancer Society making Singer’s goal annual goal of $200,000 well within reach.