CEDAR CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) Cedar City Police officers get a chance to grow out their facial hair to raise around $1,500 for cancer patients in southern Utah.
“We’ve never been able to grow a beard while we’ve been in uniform,” Sgt. Jerry Womack said, who came up with fundraiser idea.
“This is the longest I’ve ever had my facial hair,” Officer Matthew Tophan said.
The majority of officers bought a $40 “beard permit,” excluding them from the department’s strict facial hair policy.
“It’s different from what we’ve always had in the past. When we tell them the reason why, most people are very excited and supportive of the idea,” Officer Tophan said.
“We’ve all been impacted by people who’ve been effected by different kinds of cancer and this is just a fun way of making a little bit of a difference,” Sgt. Womack said.
The Southwest Cancer Center is in desperate need of the money, which they plan to give to patients for food and transportation costs.
Oncology Nurse Navigator Cheryl Bellomo says rural patients can travel up to 200 miles for an appointment.
“You need to have that gas to get to the treatment so you can fight that biggest battle. You need to have food on that table so you can keep yourself well-nourished to get through that treatment,” Bellomo said.
While the money will make a difference, Bellomo says the support from Cedar City’s finest is most important.
“Many of them, because of their treatments, lose their hair, so they’re showing their support by saying, ‘hey, you know what? We are going to make ourselves look different… and we are going to raise a little money and have fun doing it,” Bellomo said.
The fundraiser wraps up mid-December.