Know someone you think should be locked up? Then the Rodeo Jail is just what you need.
As part of the 2003 August Doin's, the Rodeo Scholarship Jail Committee will once again be roaming the streets of Payson to collect inmates who have had warrants purchased for them by friends, co-workers or family.
It costs $10 to buy a warrant and at least $25 to get bailed out of jail," said coordinator Lori Foss.
The rodeo jail fees are used for the committee's scholarship fund.
Bail can be set at a higher rate by the people purchasing the warrant, Foss said. Everyone who winds up in jail gets their picture taken behind bars so there is proof of their arrest for the people who bought the warrant.
"Often warrants are issued anonymously," Foss said.
The rodeo jail and its volunteers, all in costume, visit the nursing homes to socialize with the residents and make them feel part of the festivities, she said.
The fund-raiser takes at least 30 to 40 volunteers to man the jail, make the arrests and do the driving through town during rodeo week. Between 35 and 40 work the rodeo parade and performances, Foss said.
The group provides cell phones to the inmates so they can make their call for help, but they don't limit it to a single call. The people who buy the warrants can also pay the bail on the sly, but the inmates don't know about it, so the money they are able to raise is additional help for the scholarship fund. All money given the effort is tax deductible.
"They kick butt at selling buttons," Foss said.
The rodeo buttons are sold during rodeo week and each one has a raffle ticket taped on the back of it. A prize will be awarded at each of the performances of the rodeo, with others drawn afterward, with the winners announced in the Roundup and by the chamber of commerce, she said. It is not necessary to be present at the rodeo performances to claim the prizes awarded.
In addition to selling warrants, buttons, making arrests and promoting the big events during rodeo week, the volunteers who take care of the jail help at the performances as well. They sell programs and assist the elderly and handicapped if needed.
"We do it to have fun and raise money for the kids' scholarships. We get goofy and silly, and cover a lot of miles going back and forth and all over town. We want to get everyone in the spirit of celebrating rodeo week," Foss said.
Foss is accepting volunteers who can work any time between Aug. 8 and Aug. 17. Call her at (928) 474-9314 and leave a message.