FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Yes, time flies! Once again, Hollywood attorney David W. Singer is getting ready for Jail and Bail, his 27th year with this extraordinary and successful fundraiser. For more than a quarter of a century, Singer has been chairing this event that brings out the most generous people in our community. Lawyers, doctors, politicians and business owners seem to relish the hi-jinks of ‘jailing” their buddies as they raise money for the American Cancer Society (ACS). The event takes place at the Sheraton Suites on Cypress Creek in Fort Lauderdale on June 26-28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, with an evening kick-off celebration at Bokamper’s Intracoastal Restaurant on June 25. Kim Bokamper, football and broadcasting great, is the 2018 honorary chair.
Bokamper began working with the Sylvester Cancer Research Center at the University of Miami when the Miami Dolphins got involved. At the time, they started a bike ride for former teammate Jim Mandich who was diagnosed with stage-four bile duct cancer. Bokamper remembers Mandich cutting the ribbon for that first bike ride and recalled how fortunate he was that nobody in his life had been touched by cancer. A year after that, his wife was diagnosed. “I lost my wife four years ago and I watched her battle the effects of cancer,” said Bokamper. “I will always remember walking into chemotherapy for the first time. There were probably 20 people in there getting treatment. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich, or poor, doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, or religious. Cancer doesn’t care. So I decided to do everything I could to help.” Bokamper continues to work and fundraise on the research side of things but enjoys his work with the ACS because it not only helps with research but it supports cancer patients and assists their families with coping.
In the more than two decades that Singer has chaired Jail and Bail, he has raised more than $5 million dollars for the ACS. The event employs an innovative technique for raising money with fake arrests, real police and mock court trials overseen by ‘Judge’ David Singer himself and some loyal volunteers. This year’s Jail & Bail will be held in special memory of one of Singer’s devoted volunteers and employees, Jo Walters. Walters passed away just last month and has worked with Singer for over 15 years on Jail & Bail. She has been a backbone of the fundraising campaign, especially of the Up the River Cruise that caps off the Event every year.
As in years past, Singer has selected people to form his parole board who are taught how to find ‘jailbirds’ (or people whom they want arrested). Volunteers on the parole board may have their worst enemy or best friend arrested and thrown in jail for this good cause. After this, the jailbirds make pledge calls to get ACS donations, aka bail money. If they can raise enough money through pledging, they get out of jail. This year, Singer has targeted a goal of $200,000.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and State Attorney Mike Satz have become staples of Jail and Bail, and once again will participate. Satz, a former Honorary Chair, has been an irreplaceable part of Jail and Bail for over 16 years. He and Singer, Co-Chair the iconic Up the River cruise that marks the end of Jail and Bail every year (now scheduled around Labor Day).
“This year is a difficult year for Jail & Bail without our beloved Jo, but we will work in her memory and keep raising money for the ACS because I know that’s what she would want us to do,” said Singer. “With the dedicated team that shares my passion for this important cause, we can surpass our goal. We all want to see a world without cancer.”
Jailbirds gather during Jail & Bail Week at the Sheraton Suites where they make their fundraising calls from a makeshift jail. It is customary that a rivalry develops between jailbirds to see who can raise the most money. Perennial stalwarts such as Andrew Sossin of Recovery Unplugged, Attorney Gerald Cowen, Dr. Barry Burak and Charles Verner of UBS Financial are expected to lead again this year. Realtor, Steve Einhorn, approaching his 21st year with the fundraiser, always brings in the most “jailbirds”. Presenting Sponsor, CitiMed leads a group of loyal sponsors, such as luncheon sponsor, Pat Kerney of Kerney Plumbing, Steve Jensen of Lipton Toyota & Countyline Chiropractic.
Singer is an active community leader and has participated in various charities. He is a past chairman of the American Cancer Society Board of Directors. He is a founding member of the Hollywood Professional Lions Club and served 20 years on the board of the Greater Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. He was a long -serving member of the Board of the Hollywood Art and Culture Museum and the Broward Jewish Federation. He serves as the chair of the Nominating Committee of the NSU Law Board of Governors. He has won many awards including Soref JCC Humanitarian of the Year, the NSU Celebration of Excellence Award and the American Association of Justice, Trial Lawyers Care Award. He is also on the Nova Southeastern University’s Ambassadors Board.
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About David Singer:
Serving the legal community for more than 38 years, attorney David W. Singer is the managing partner of David W. Singer & Associates, P.A., one of South Florida’s largest personal injury and wrongful death law firms.