The Race Matters, Friends Community Bail Fund on Tuesday celebrated bailing eight people out of the Boone County Jail since March 1 during a party at DrinKraft.

Members of the fund at the event said they have spent $6,000, but member Peggy Placier said the fund was due to be reimbursed soon because of people who made their court dates.

"Some have told us 'I will be there. I want you to get your money back,'' Placier said.

The fund began getting calls immediately after being placed on the list at the Boone County Jail alongside for-profit bail bond companies, she said. The RMF Community Bail Fund is a not-for-profit organization.

Bond fund member Carol Brown said they decided the limit would be $2,000. The person has to live in Boone County and be charged with a non-violent crime.

"They haven't been convicted of any crimes," Brown said. "You're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty."

People in jail who can't afford bail risk losing their jobs, their houses, cars and sometimes their children, she said.

"A lot of the people we're helping have very limited resources," Brown said.

Brown said volunteers are needed to bail people out of jail, drive them to court dates and calling people to remind them of court dates.

"We need people with expertise in fundraising," Brown said.

"We need money or it's going to end soon," said member Tory Kassabaum.

Placier said she wasn't sure how much money remained in the fund. She said it started with around $14,000 and it has spent $6,000, but fundraising continues. She said some members of Race Matters, Friends have birthday fundraisers on Facebook for the bail fund.

The bail fund used a credit card to bail out its first inmate.

The county added a 7 percent "technology fee" when the group used the credit card. The money goes to Moneta Enterprises, a private company, under a 2010 contract to process credit card transactions. It's much higher than the transaction fees typically charged, which range from 1.5 percent to 3 percent.

The fees can't be refunded.

Presiding Boone County Commissioner Dan Atwill last month said the commission would review the contract. He didn't return a call on Tuesday seeking information about the status of the review.

After the first inmate, the bail fund has used money orders to bail people out.

"There's a lot of vulnerable people out there," Brown said. "People who aren't vulnerable aren't preyed upon in the same way.'

The group also was celebrating the addition of the RMF Community Bail Fund to the National Bail Fund Network. That makes the network's resources would be available to the local fund, Placier said.

The details that needed to be worked out before bailing people out of jail was time-consuming, Placier said.

"It took us an inordinately long time to get our name on the list at the jail," she said.

Kassabaum, who was at the event with her infant, said the group is doing something worthwhile.

"I'm just so excited," she said. "We're really making a difference. It feels good to be actually doing something."