Fairfield University's Jail N' Bail event to raise money for Connecticut Special Olympics



Image: Jail n BailSome faculty, staff, and students at Fairfield University will be spending some time behind bars in an effort to raise money for a good cause during the school's annual Jail N' Bail fundraiser to benefit Special Olympics of Connecticut. The event will take place on Wednesday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the traffic circle outside the Barone Campus Center. The Jail N' Bail event is a campus-wide effort spearheaded by law enforcement officers and students at Fairfield University.

People on and off campus are invited to fill out a Jail N' Bail warrant - for the price of $5 - to have someone on campus arrested. Off-duty public safety officers will volunteer their time to "arrest" the person named in the warrant and bring them before a judge where bail will be set at $50 or higher. The arrested person is then placed in a makeshift jail cell where they may use phones to call colleagues, friends, and family to raise money for their "bail," all of which benefits the Connecticut Special Olympics.

In its fourth year, officials from Special Olympics said Fairfield University's public safety department has been very successful with the Jail N' Bail program - raising more money than any other university public safety department in Connecticut. To date, the university has collected nearly $60,000 for athletes with developmental disabilities.

While the objective of Jail N' Bail is to raise money for the Special Olympics, it also raises awareness of the organization that runs sports' competitions and training for athletes and children with intellectual disabilities. Todd Pelazza, director of the Fairfield University Department of Public Safety, has a long-time involvement with the charitable group, and said, "We have been blessed with our ability to live part of the Jesuit ideal of giving back. As important as our fundraising is, creating awareness about the Special Olympics movement is just as important."

Sgt. Rob Didato, who is one of the officers responsible for coordinating the lock-up agreed, "A lot of times we find ourselves stressing over goals we want to achieve and the hurdles that get in our way. The athletes of Special Olympics are sometimes faced with more adversity than any of us will ever know. And in facing those adversities, all they want to do is jump hurdles and score goals."  

In addition, numerous law enforcement agencies throughout Connecticut, including the Bridgeport SWAT team, Fairfield and Trumbull police departments, and the Connecticut State Police will be on-hand to assist with the fundraising event.

For more information contact Todd Pelazza or Rob Didato, Department of Public Safety at (203) 254-4090 or e-mail at rdidato@fairfield.edu.

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Media Contact: Mark Gregorio, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, mgregorio1@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 19, 2011

Vol. 43, No. 279