CEDAR CITY – Residents may have noticed lately that Cedar City Police Officers are looking – well – a little more hairy than usual.
Police Chief Darin Adams said the officers have been growing their facial hair for the last two months in an effort to raise money for the Intermountain Southwest Cancer Center at Cedar City Hospital.
Tuesday those efforts came to fruition when the police department presented the cancer center with a $1,200 check.
The fundraising endeavor that started two months ago in October was the brainchild of the chief and Sgt. Jerry Womack. The two men had read about similar ideas happening in other police departments, Adams said, and decided, “it would be fun for Cedar City Police.”
“I was looking on Facebook and thinking, ‘that would be fun,’ and at that same instance Jerry texted me and said, ‘Chief look at this we should try it,” Adams said. “So he kinda started that idea and I thought if we’re going to do this then it needs to be noteworthy.”
The officers paid the department $20 each month they grew their facial hair with the money going toward the fundraiser. The department also received multiple donations from the community.
The money is earmarked for patients at the cancer center and will likely be given in the form of gift cards they can use for gas or other essentials that are often a financial burden to cover while they’re undergoing treatment, Amy Bleak, cancer center manager, said.
“So basically this money can come in and help fill in the gaps,” Bleak said. “Cancer therapy takes a toll. It’s very expensive, so we can take care of the costs of the drugs and some of the hospital costs. However, just living from day to day and getting to and from their appointments is a lot and this will help us to help them to have one less worry in their life. Cancer is stressful enough, they don’t need to worry about the little things that are going on.”
The cancer center has received 299 new patients this year bringing the total to more than 500 to 600 patients currently seeking care, Bleak said.
Now that the fundraiser is over, the officers have to follow the department’s policy of no facial hair other than trimmed mustaches.
Many of the officers, however, would love to be able to wear a beard or goatee all year round, Adams said.
“They’re already pushing the limits a little bit and campaigning,” Adams said chuckling. “So they’re asking if maybe we can do fundraisers through the whole year. Some officers even said they’d have no problem paying $20 a month just to be able to have a beard.”
Whether that will happen or not is an entirely different story; however, the chief said their requests are “duly noted” and he will “take them under advisement.”
“It’s been good for the guys, good for morale,” Adams said. “They were just standing talking about it and asking if they can do this all the time. So it’s been a morale booster for them to grow this and the cause is remarkable so it’s a win-win.”
Bleak said the beards have also been a great conversation piece in the community and helped to garner more donations as people asked about them and learned what the officers were doing.
“We had people come in and donate to the center on their behalf,” she said.
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