Under arrest
Yellowknifers off to jail for good cause

Scott Crabbe
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Feb 18/00) - Do not stop, do not pass go, but if you can collect $200 while you're in jail it would be much appreciated.

The NWT branch of the Canadian Cancer Society is holding a jail and bail today to help raise funds for cancer research.

"We're hoping to raise $20,000 this year," said Canadian Cancer Society NWT unit president Edward Gullberg.

"The last time we held one (November 1995), we had $28,000 pledged."

The jail and bail will be held in the Centre Square Mall from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

People are asked to arrange the arrest of someone they know; it could be a family member, friend or colleague.

From there, their fate falls into the discretion of a judge who will hand down an appropriate sentence to fit the crime.

"In the past, we had a lot of surprise arrests," Gullberg said.

"Usually people were getting set up by other people in the office and the crime would be little things like forgetting to put the toilet seat down."

Once a person is sent to jail, it is up to them to get themselves out.

Phones and fax machines are provided to them, and they're not able to leave until they can come up with their bail.

"The jail can hold eight people at a time," Gullberg said.

"A fair bit of pledging has already been done, but some will have to be done in jail."

The jail and bail is just one of many different fund-raisers held by the Canadian Cancer Society.

Last year the Alberta/NWT Cancer Society raised a total of $7.8 million. Four million of that went into cancer research, most of which is done in Edmonton and Calgary.

"Chemotherapy can be done here as well as some surgery," Gullberg said.

"Radiation treatment still has to be done in Edmonton."

While there is no sure cure for cancer, steps can be taken towards cancer prevention. Tobacco is the number 1 cause of preventable cancer and is blamed for 30 per cent of all fatal cancers (85 per cent of fatal lung cancers). Improper diets also contribute to 30 per cent of all cancer cases.

Fund-raisers such as these are not only held to raise money for cancer research, but also to bring attention to a problem that affects all of us in one form or another.

So if you have a dime, go on down and take the time and help out by paying for someone's crime.