Area police shed razors, grow hair to raise cash

  • This photo from the Easthampton Police Department’s Facebook page serves as the “before” picture for No-Shave November, a fund-raising effort being taken up by police departments up and down the valley. Pictured are (L to R): Officer Alan Schadel, Sergeant Dennis Scribner, Chief Robert Alberti, Officer Andrew Beaulieu and Officer Francois Turgeon. Also participating but not pictured: Captain Chris Patnode, Officer Ed Murray, Officer Luis Rivera and Officer Kyle Gribi. EASTHAMPTON POLICE DEPARTMENT

Monday, November 06, 2017

BELCHERTOWN — Police across the state — and in the Pioneer Valley — are ditching the razor this month, letting their facial hair grow in an effort to raise money for a cause for No-Shave November.

Belchertown Police Department, which is raising money for the American Cancer Society, said those who let their facial hair grow this month are like a “fuzzy billboard for men’s health issues.”

On its Facebook page, the department told people about the challenge and encouraged others to grow out their hair.

“To participate in No-Shave November, give up one of your hair grooming practices and donate what you’d normally spend on it toward cancer research,” the department wrote. “Participants can grow mustaches and beards, but it also encourages women to maybe skip shaving their legs.”

The Easthampton Police Department is participating in the Home Base First Responder No-Shave November campaign. Home Base is a program run by the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital to help veterans and their families heal from post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.

In 2016, more than 500 first responders across 21 cities in Massachusetts raised over $50,000 during Home Base No-Shave November, according to the campaign’s website.

Granby police officers are growing beards in support of Epilepsy Awareness Month. Hadley police are growing their beards to help raise awareness for prostate cancer, and each participant donates $50 to the cause, according to the department’s Facebook page.

“Recently, the West Springfield Police Department extended a challenge to area police departments to participate in No-Shave November,” Hadley police posted on Facebook. “Chief Mason has given members of the Hadley Police Department permission to grow their hair, and accept WSPD’s challenge.”

Hadley Police extended the challenge to the town’s fire department, too.

Caitlin Ashworth can be reached at cashworth@gazettenet.com.