Local artist Tonya Smith is planning to serve some hard time behind bars. But this jailbird is no criminal; she’s taking part in the Sarasota Executive Lock Up to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Smith will be locked up Wednesday, Aug. 22, in a mock jail cell and must raise bail money in order to be freed. As a person with muscular dystrophy, the event holds a special significance for Smith.
Diagnosed with the disease in 2000, doctors told Smith that she had a carnitine deficiency, which causes problems with energy production.
“I was actually grateful for the diagnosis,” said Smith. “I was having seizures and blackouts, and I didn’t know why. Now, I’m able to get medicine that helps.”
Smith has been involved with the MDA event in the past as a guest speaker, but this is the first time she’s stepping behind bars.
“The funds help in a lot of ways,” says Smith. “Research is really expensive, and a lot of the proceeds are used locally.”
Smith is also using her background as an artist to benefit the fundraiser. Anyone who makes a donation greater than $20 will be entered into a drawing to win one of Smith’s original angel paintings.
Smith was introduced to her passion at a young age, but didn’t pursue it seriously until six years ago.
“I thought I might try to do mural work, but all the standing would be tough with my MD.” Instead, she started by painting a series of cards that featured Bible verses and angels.
“When I finished the wings on my first angel, I was like, ‘Oh, wow — who did that’? I thought I could paint angels forever.”
Smith continues to produce art in her home studio, Moondance Art and Design Co.
Smith hopes to one day open a Christian recovery center for those suffering from alcohol or drug addiction.
“Whether I can donate my time or my talent, I’m always looking to help others.”
IF YOU GO
Smith will be raising bail money 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, in front of the Publix at Bee Ridge and Beneva Roads.
Currently 0 Responses
26 Lights In Bloom
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
3 FREE 5K Fun Run
7:00 am - 8:00 am
3 Historical Trolley Tour
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
6 Feast of the Epiphany offers beautiful close to Christmas season
Sound of hope
The holiday season hasn’t officially started until our favorite bell ringers return to their posts.
Shoppers and residents were treated to some holiday harmonies by the Senior Friendship Centers’ group, the Second Wind Harmonica Players, in Downtown Sarasota.
Stepping up to the plate
The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County teamed up to bring the anti-bullying event Rachel’s Challenge to Sarasota Dec. 3.