By Michael Benavides
Police officers in Plumsted and Howell are participating in the No-Shave November fundraiser to raise money in the fight against cancer.
According to its website, No-Shave November seeks to increase cancer awareness and to raise funds to support cancer prevention, research and education.
The website states that the goal of No-Shave November “is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free. Donate the money you typically spend on shaving and grooming to educate people about cancer prevention, to save lives and to aid those fighting the battle.”
This year, No-Shave.org has partnered with the American Cancer Society, Fight Colorectal Cancer, the Prevent Cancer Foundation and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Police Officer Ryan Nani said this is the first time the Plumsted Township Police Department is participating in No-Shave November.
“We really wanted to step up and make a full commitment in this year’s fundraiser,” Nani said. “We decided to team up with No-Shave.org to start raising money to fight cancer.”
Nani said all 14 members of the police department are participating. The officers have set a goal to raise $2,500 for cancer awareness and research. He said residents who would like to support the police with a donation may visit www.no-shave.org
The Howell Police Department is also participating in No-Shave November.
Detective Sgt. Christian Antunez said Police Chief Andrew Kudrick has suspended the department’s regular grooming standards so that officers may grow facial hair during November to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage people to donate to the cause.
Howell police will be partnering with the CentraState Healthcare Foundation at CentraState Medical Center, Freehold Township.
Antunez said CentraState was selected as the beneficiary because “we wanted to choose a local charity with an exemplary reputation for fighting cancer and helping people … We raised $6,500 last year in about three weeks. This year we would love to match that or beat it and every dollar counts.”
The department has created a colorful cancer fighting police car and anyone who donates $25 or more will be invited to sign the car. Antunez said police wanted to find a way to get members of the public involved with the fundraiser.
“It was Chief Kudrick’s idea. We wanted to come up with an idea that would engage the public more than just donating money. People can come to the police department, meet our officers and sign the car in memory of a loved one or whoever they chose,” Antunez said.
“The signatures will stay on the car permanently for everyone to see everywhere it goes in the community. The car will raise awareness long after November comes and goes,” he said, adding that about 20 officers are participating in No-Shave November.