Wilton police grow beards for charity
Their morning routine got a little easier as several Wilton police officers are growing beards for charity.
As it has for a number of years, the police are participating in No Shave November, an effort to raise awareness and money for cancer-related charities. The police are extending the usual month-long campaign through December and January, so some members of Wilton’s force will look different for a while.
Wilton police are allowed to have mustaches but not beards, said Lt. Dave Hartman, who is overseeing the program as head of the Wilton Police Benevolent Association. “Some of the men can have very nice beards by the time they are done.”
The beards have been approved by Chief John Lynch and the Wilton Police Commission.
For November, the department is raising money for Wilton-based Circle of Care, which offers practical and emotional support for Connecticut families facing a diagnosis of childhood cancer.
“It’s a good cause and we’re always looking to give back,” Rangel said when asked why he is growing his facial hair.
Six other police departments — Danbury, New Canaan, Bethel, New Haven, Hartford and Meriden — are also supporting Circle of Care and co-founder Liz Salguero said fundraising by these departments began even before Nov. 1.
“We are so grateful for the outpouring of support from Connecticut communities where the children with cancer we serve live and go to school,” she said.
Hartman said the department has been participating in No Shave November for at least six or seven years. The point of the program, according to no-shave.org, is to grow awareness by embracing one’s hair, which many cancer patients lose.
“Each officer gives $50 for each month they participate,” Hartman said. Donations from the community are also welcome. Anyone who would like to contribute may send a check made out to the Wilton Police Benevolent Foundation, 240 Danbury Road, Wilton CT 06897 and write Circle of Care or No Shave in the memo line.
Donations may also be made to support the Wilton police online at thcircleofcare.org and clicking on the No Shave icon.
“As police, we usually only receive calls from people when there’s a problem,” Hartman said. “Here we can give back in a different way. It’s very rewarding to help make a change in peoples’ lives.”