ELKTON — Sheriff Scott Adam is scheduled to surrender himself to “authorities” Thursday afternoon, after receiving an “arrest warrant” in the mail a while ago.
The charge against him: Knowingly and voluntarily offering to do a good deed.
As it turns out, the recipient of that good deed is the Friends of Cecil County Victims Memorial Service.
The group is holding a jail-and-bail event Thursday, March 12, in Elkton to raise money to create a permanent memorial for Cecil County people who lost their lives at the hands of others, whether it was murder, manslaughter, vehicular homicide and such.
Adams is scheduled to turn himself in between 4 and 5 p.m. at the Elk River Brewing Company on Main Street, where he will be detained until he can raise $500 in donations for the cause.
He will not be the only jailbird in that brewery, where there will be plenty of food and drinks. The public is welcome.
As of Tuesday, a total of 20 residents and local leaders, including Elkton Mayor Rob Alt and newly appointed Interim State's Attorney James Dellmyer, were scheduled to be “jailed” in the fundraising effort.
As for Adams, this will not be the first time that he has been jailed for committing a good need.
“I'm a repeat offender,” Adams joked, noting that he was detained in 2014 in a jail-and-bail event to support The Boys & Girls Club of Cecil County.
Kathy VanCulin, one of the planners, reported that the event will run from 4 to 8 p.m. and is intended to raise money for a permanent Cecil County victims memorial, which will be in the shape of a tree and likely will be made of steel.
Padlocks engraved with the names of victims and other information will be hooked onto that tree, VanCulin said. The tree will be big enough to accommodate hundreds of padlocks, allowing for additions over the years, she added.
“It will be a large statue — a tree in some shape or form — and it will be at least 10 feet tall. Each padlock costs $30 — $20 for the lock and $10 for the engraving,” VanCulin said.
She added, “Each year — and hopefully it will be minimal — we can place the new names on the tree. We will do that during an annual ceremony. It will be sad, but it also will be good for the survivors to be there when their loved ones get memorialized.”
VanCulin reported that the estimated cost of the project, including designing, building and erecting the memorial tree, as well as purchasing the engraved padlocks necessary at this point, is $30,000.
The victims memorial tree will be erected in the Unity Garden courtyard in front the Cecil County Circuit Courthouse on Main Street in Elkton.
That is where the annual Cecil County Victims Memorial Wall & Walk event has been held every April since 2010. That event is sponsored by the Cecil County State's Attorney's Office.
During that memorial event, the names of victims are placed on cards and then are affixed to a makeshift wall created with office partitions. The names also appear on signs lining the courtyard sidewalks.
VanCulin and her family have been attending the annual Victims Memorial Wall & Walk event since it started.
VanCulin’s sister, Terri Ann McCoy, 40, was shot and killed when she stirred from sleep after four gunmen broke into her parents’ Chesapeake City-area home in November 2009, terrorized the couple and then robbed them.
During the 2018 memorial, more than 130 names of Cecil County victims appeared on that makeshift wall — which was taken down immediately after the event — as it is every year.
“Our goal is to have the permanent memorial erected by April 2020 because Cecil County is hosting the regional Victims Wall & Walk Memorial that year. Survivors from five counties will attend, and we'd like to have the 2020 memorial in front of the courthouse at our permanent memorial,” VanCulin said.
As for Thursday's jail-and-bail fundraising event aimed at making that goal, Adams commented, “It's awesome to take an arrest, which is seen as a negative thing, and turn it into a positive thing. It will be a fun fundraising event, and it is for a very good cause.”