POINT PLEASANT — Something “appeared” different about the Mason County Sheriff’s Department throughout November.
Typically, officers in the department are clean shaven, but in November, many started growing a beard and though they didn’t break the law, they broke with tradition for a good cause.
Many officers participated in “No-Shave November” to promote cancer awareness. “No-Shave November” is a movement across the country and is described as a month-long journey during which participants forgo shaving and grooming in order to evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness.
The goal of “No-Shave November” is to grow awareness by embracing hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free. People then donate the money they typically spend on shaving and grooming to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle.
Chief Deputy Dave Downing said deputies came to him asking for permission to participate in the movement and raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for cancer research. Downing said after the “go-ahead” from Sheriff Greg Powers, the beards began to appear.
Those in the department who participated pitched in $20 each, or about what they would spend on grooming supplies for the month but the statement of solidarity paid off in unexpected dividends.
Downing said while out at public events, people noticed that something was different about their deputies and asked. Asking the question presented an opportunity to talk about cancer awareness and the need to fund research.
Downing said the department joined many other law enforcement entities across the country for “No-Shave November.”
“It’s a small drop in the bucket for support, but not bad for a little department like ours,” Downing said, adding that around $400 went to St. Jude just from deputies growing beards for a month.
Of course, nothing lasts forever, including “No-Shave November.” All deputies shaved off those beards this past Monday to prepare for December and continuing to give back to the community in other ways. Next up, “Shop with a Cop” for local, needy families at Christmas.
Just in case readers are wondering where all that shaving money went:
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. St. Jude is where doctors often send their toughest cases, because St. Jude has the world’s best survival rates for some of the most aggressive forms of childhood cancer. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs they make, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
Some information for this article provided by www.no-shave.org.
Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.