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Brockport Police Department raises money for cancer research

by Kari Ashworth - News Editor
Tue, Nov 19th 2019 10:00 am
The Brockport Police Department has teamed up with Cops Against Cancer by raising money for 13thirty Cancer Connect and Roswell Park for the second year in a row. Photo Courtesy of Sergeant Hagen
The Brockport Police Department has teamed up with Cops Against Cancer by raising money for 13thirty Cancer Connect and Roswell Park for the second year in a row. Photo Courtesy of Sergeant Hagen

The Brockport Police Department (BPD) is participating in Beards for Bucks to raise money for 13thirty Cancer Connect and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“In the month of November, we will be growing and shaving our beards to raise critically needed funds for teen and young adult programs at 13thirty Cancer Connect as well as cutting-edge cancer research and compassionate, innovative patient-care programs at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center,” BPD’s page for Beards for Bucks reads. “Cancer is a disease that touches everyone, and we want to make a difference.”

BPD joined Cops Against Cancer for the second year in a row. Law enforcement from all across the greater Rochester and Buffalo area participate in this initiative, equating to 17 agencies. 

“All of the money raised from the officers shaving their heads and female officers painting their nails goes toward the programs and events they do,” Sergeant Robert Hagen said.

13thirty Cancer Connect was founded by a mother in honor of her teen daughter Melissa, who passed away in 2000 from cancer. After seeing how difficult it was for her daughter to navigate being a teenager with cancer, she created 13thirty as a meeting place for teens with cancer to connect with one another. In 2015, 13thirty began serving young adults as well. 

“So, what we do here at 13thirty to sort of bridge that gap between pediatric and adult medicine, we provide peer support programs in three sort of buckets,” Donor Relations Manager for 13thirty Cancer Connect Christina DiBaudo said. “We have physical fitness and nutrition programs where we help our members regain strength to the level of activity that they were at prior diagnosis or working out with modifications that fit their schedule and their new lifestyle and abilities. We also focus on expressive arts to help our teens and young adults really express themselves in a safe environment, and, you know, it’s really hard to express your emotions, but we have different workshops, painting and poetry that help kind of put those thoughts into words. And then our last bucket is just fun, social interaction where we get together and our members are able to meet other people just like them that have gone through the same experience.”

Cops Against Cancer and Beards for Bucks, which is an off-shoot of Bald for Bucks, is important because police officers are at the forefront of the community.

“The police having such a prevalent stance in our community; they’re out in the community, they’re forward facing,” DiBaudo said. “And then also there’s a $25 participation fee for them to grow their beard, and that money comes back and supports our peer support programs as well as cancer research.”

Hagen said the department participates in order to bring awareness to the issue. The officers also enjoy being allowed to grow beards or paint their nails throughout the month.

“In law enforcement, it’s been our general orders to be clean-shaven, so there’s the fun aspect of growing the beards,” Hagen said.

Because officers typically cannot have facial hair, Hagen said it gets people to ask about it throughout the month.

“People ask ‘what’s with the beards?’ and so we can send them to the website,” Hagen said. “The more awareness we can bring to fight this battle, the better.”

Currently, there are 15 officers participating in the initiative at BPD. Beards for Bucks typically goes until the end of November, but “last year the Chief kind of gave an incentive to raise money and we could keep [the beards and painted nails] through December,” according to Hagen. 

Last year, BPD raised $3,615 throughout the month of November, and the greater Rochester and Buffalo areas raised over $70,000. 

DiBaudo gave an update on the progress made as of Thursday, Nov. 14. BPD has raised $415 for the month, and the greater Rochester and Buffalo areas have raised $34,875 thus far this year. 

“You can help us make a difference by supporting our team’s efforts in Goin’ Bald for Bucks,” BPD’s page reads. “Please consider making a donation today. No donation is too small, and every dollar adds up to something greater than any one of us could accomplish alone. Together, we can help find cancer cures and save lives.”

For more information on BPD initiatives, visit the Brockport Police Department’s page, or go to give.roswellpark.org/goto/brockportpd to view its work with 13thirty and Roswell Park. 

 

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Taken by Vinny Croce:
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