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Bidding wars

BY Paige Conley - pconley@perutribune.com

The city of Peru is bustling this week as business owner’s work tirelessly to raise their $200 bonds before their impending faux arrest on April 24 for Peru Police Department’s jailbreak fundraiser.

The fundraiser is raising money for PPD’s Honor Guard, a core group of officers who will be representing the flag during memorial services and special events in the community.

One owner in particular, Joe “Dough Boy” DeRozier, is cutting community members a deal on a dozen doughnuts at his business, DeRozier’s Bakery.

According to DeRozier, right now customers can order a dozen donuts for $8 and half of the money will go towards his bond.

“That way they are getting something for their money and it’s going towards a charity,” he said.

Community members have been going above and beyond for DeRozier with their support and the occasional extra tip to go towards his bond. However, one local resident is throwing in a deal of her own for the community to raise DeRozier’s bond.

Jennifer Collins, a DeRozier’s Bakery loyal customer, has recently started selling whitening toothpaste and she is making a deal with customers. For every tube of toothpaste they order, she’ll donate $5 towards his bond.

DeRozier’s bakery is her family’s favorite spot in Peru and she wants to give back to DeRozier for everything he’s done for her family.

Collins said she also wants to donate to a good cause and support the PPD.

“They are here to protect us, but also to be our friends,” Collins said.

DeRozier has been having a good time with the fundraiser. He’s been meeting a lot of new people, some who have been coming back to tease him about his upcoming time in the slammer, and he said he loves it.

According to DeRozier, the whole experience has been “very positive” so far. The fundraiser is to raise money for the Honor Guard, but DeRozier believes it’s also about bringing the community closer together.

“It’s about the police and getting people to realize they are our neighbors. Our family. They are us,” he said. “They are doing their jobs and they need to be looked at and respected.”

DeRozier said he’s already raised his bond, but he’s hoping to raise a little extra especially since he’s heard of people who have already donated to add more time onto his sentence.

One of these individuals is Dirty Paws Pet Grooming owner, Mike “Smelly Dawg” Graves, who gave free dog grooming sessions to the first five people who donated $20 to DeRozier’s bond. It’s all in good fun, according to Graves.

Graves has also been raising money to make his own bond through Dirty Paws. All of the money he’s gotten from grooming dog nails, selling natural dog treats and all of his tips have been donated to his bond.

Graves made quick work of hitting his $200 bond because he claims to be too pretty for jail.

He agrees with DeRozier that this fundraiser is turning into a fun community event while raising money for a good cause.

“I love the fact that a community like Peru can come together,” Graves said. “I’m sure they are going to be shocked and amazed by the money they raise for it.”

With that being said, these two aren’t the only community members in town showing healthy competition.

Clinic Supervisor at Dukes Memorial Hospital, Daryn “Nurse Dugout” Sturch, feels she has been wrongly accused by best friend and Peru Firefighter, Stacey “The Axe” Swinford.

In retaliation, Sturch has teamed up with Smitty’s Bar & Grill, North Miami Youth League, Jade Cox and some other anonymous donors to keep Swinford in jail.

According to Sturch, for every donation put toward her bond, her partners will match that amount to add time onto Swinford’s sentence. Swinford is not very happy about the deal, said Sturch.

Nonetheless, Sturch thinks the fundraiser is a great way to get the PPD involved with the community and vice versa.

She is also in full support of the Honor Guard.

“It’s something that is very special to families,” Sturch said.