Area police raise over $9k for veterans services during ‘No Shave’ November

  • Members of the Northampton Police Department pose with the Red Sox’s mascot, Wally the Green Monster. FACEBOOK/NORTHAMPTON POLICE DEPARTMENT

  • Members of the Easthampton Police Department pose with the World Series trophy. FACEBOOK/EASTHAMPTON POLICE DEPARTMENT

  • Members of the South Hadley Police Department at Fenway Park. FACEBOOK/SOUTH HADLEY POLICE DEPARTMENT

Staff Writer
Published: 12/5/2019 9:28:14 AM
Modified: 12/5/2019 9:28:04 AM

NORTHAMPTON — It’s a policy for many police departments to restrict facial hair on officers. But during the month of November, some law enforcement in the Pioneer Valley made an exception to this rule for charity — raising a collective $9,680 for Home Base, a veterans’ organization.

Officers sporting beards from Northampton, Easthampton and South Hadley made the trip to Fenway Park on Tuesday to support the fifth year of “Home Base No Shave,” a campaign raising awareness and money for Home Base, a clinic providing services to veterans and their families who are struggling with the “invisible illnesses” of war such as post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.

During the campaign, officers in participating departments could pledge $100 to Home Base to forgo shaving for the entire month, though anyone can donate to support their local police’s separate fundraising goals. As of Dec. 5, Home Base, which was founded by the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital in 2009, has raised over $302,000 to go toward the organization. Last year, the campaign raised over $276,000.

This was the first year the Hadley Police Department participated in the Home Base fundraising campaign, an effort spearheaded by Patrol Officer Daniel Phillips. As an Army veteran who served in Iraq from 2004 to 2005, Phillips said the decision to start fundraising was a personal one. 

“This one spoke to me,” Phillips said. “I have a lot of friends who have been through issues with PTSD. It was my way of helping out those who came back and didn’t land on their feet.”

In all, Hadley Police raised $375 toward their $500 goal. Phillips said he hopes the department will continue the tradition to show support for those in the armed forces. 

“It’s important to show that we do support our soldiers,” Phillips said. “I appreciate the officers in the department who donated.”

Some of the local police departments posted photos on Facebook from the event at Fenway. One depicts a group of six members of the Easthampton Police Department posing near the Commissioner’s Trophy, the award given to the Major League Baseball team that wins the World Series.

“The mental health and wellness of those who have served in the military is of critical importance to the Veteran, their family, and the community in which they live,” the Easthampton Police Department wrote in a Facebook post.

Police in Northampton raised $3,670; South Hadley raised $2,745; Leverett raised $1,150; Easthampton raised $1,000; Southampton raised $465; Hadley raised $375; and Amherst College raised $275.  

Michael Connors can be reached at mconnors@gazettenet.com. 


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