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Law enforcement officers going hairy for good causes

JOHNSTOWN — Community member shouldn’t be alarmed if they see some hairy faces in the local law enforcement ranks, as members will not be shaving for the month of November.

Members of local law enforcement agencies will be participating in No Shave November, a month-long event to raise awareness and funds for local charities.

This year the members of the Johnstown Police Department will be participating in the month-long event to raise awareness and funding for the Needy or Alone and Hungry free community meal program.

According to a press release, the charity was selected by the Johnstown Police Benevolent Association, Inc., and all participating members have made a monetary donation out of their own pocket to the PBA. The compiled donations will be presented to NOAH.

St. John’s Episcopal Church is the founder and primary sponsor of NOAH. Every Sunday including holidays, people are able to enjoy a freshly prepared hot meal that is served restaurant style, regardless of income level, residency or any other factors.

The meals are prepared and served by volunteers who come from many different organizations. The meals are served from noon to 1 p.m. in St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1 North St., Johnstown. About 500 to 600 meals are served each month.

According to the press release, program directors of NOAH are trying to raise money to move the program from its current location to a location that will be handicapped accessible.

Also participating in the No Shave November event are members of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, which will be campaigning to raise awareness for men’s health.

Montgomery County Sheriff Jeff Smith said raising awareness for men’s heath, includes encouraging men to get checked for cancer, go to the doctor and get an annual physical. He said it also includes promoting prostate, colon and breast cancer screenings.

“It’s a good cause. It brings awareness to something positive, it’s good for morale and staff,” Smith said. “I don’t see a lot of negativity with it.”

Anyone participating in the event will be able to grow out a full beard. Smith said members of law enforcement don’t usually get to grow out their facial hair due to policies.

Smith said he believes the sheriff’s office may have participated in the event in the past, but this is the first year they’re permitting full beards. He said they always accepted mustaches, but the facial hair had to be trimmed.

This year, they are allowing participants to grow their full beard, but would like for them to be neat and trimmed.

“We still have to present a professional appearance,” Smith said.

Each member wishing to participate must donate $20 and at the end of the month collected donations will be given to a local charity.

Smith said they haven’t chosen a charity yet.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office is also participating again this year.

Sheriff Richard Giardino said last year 26 members of the department decided to go two months without shaving and donated $1,500 to St. Jude’s.

The sheriff’s office will be donating to St. Jude’s again this year.

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