Cherry Hill police officers sporting a new look, raising funds for No-Shave November

The Cherry Hill Police Benevolent Association is holding a No-Shave November fundraiser through the end of the month. So far, the fundraiser had raised more than $4,000 to be donated toward multiple organizations who are dedicated to fighting cancer.

Cherry Hill police officers show off their new look as they participate in No-Shave November. Photo courtesy Cherry Hill Police Department Facebook page.

Dozens of Cherry Hill police officers have decided to try a new look for a good cause this month.

Cherry Hill Police Benevolent Association 176 is hosting a No-Shave November fundraiser. Police officers participating in the fundraiser are growing facial hair and donating money for a variety of nonprofits dedicated to fighting cancer and raising awareness about the disease.

Sgt. Christopher Branda found out about No-Shave November from a friend in another police department. No-Shave November is a web-based organization dedicated to raising cancer awareness and funds to support cancer prevention, research and education. Participants are asked to raise funds and forgo shaving for the entire month of November.

After bringing the idea to PBA President Ed Williams and Cherry Hill Police Chief William Monaghan, Branda told his fellow officers about the fundraisers. He said many of his colleagues were enthusiastic about participating.

“The guys who could grow beards were very receptive to it,” Branda said. “It was something fun to do, but it’s also something you can raise money for cancer research and awareness.”

The Cherry Hill PBA has done a number of fundraisers in the past. In October 2015, the PBA sold t-shirts during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This past October, the PBA hosted a golf tournament and pig roast where funds were raised to purchase iPads for Cooper Hospital’s pediatric unit. However, this is the first time the PBA decided to participate in No-Shave November.

Monaghan said he only expected a handful of officers to participate. The officers exceeded Monaghan’s expectations, with more than 60 choosing to take part. Each officer was asked to donate a minimum of $25 and also ask family, friends and other community members to donate.

In addition, the Cherry Hill Police Department has posted updates about the fundraiser on its Facebook page. Pictures showing the progression of the officers’ facial hair have been posted throughout the month.

The police department has also received multiple donations from residents and others supporting the department.

“There are some that have come in from people who have sent them in and from people who support the men and women from the police department,” Monaghan said.

The fundraiser has been so successful, the PBA had to increase its goal to $5,000 after reaching its original goal early on in the month.

“I was definitely surprised at the number of officers who wanted to grow the beard,” Monaghan said.

Monaghan said he was proud of the amount of fundraising and awareness the officers had done in the first half of November. As of Nov. 17, the PBA had raised $4,010.

“We know the caliber of the men and women who work here and the heart and care they have for the community,” Monaghan said.

This year, No-Shave November is donating all of the proceeds raised to the American Cancer Society, Prevent Cancer Foundation, Fight colorectal Cancer and the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Residents who wish to donate to the Cherry Hill PBA’s No-Shave November fundraiser can do so by visiting https://no-shave.org/member/Cherryhillpba.