BPD extends No Shave November fundraiser through end of year

Lt. Chris Vasquez shows wears his facial hair proudly as he writes in his citation book. Vasquez is one of several officers with the Beeville Police Department who is paying $20 a month to be able to take part in the annual No Shave November fund raiser the BPD observes. Police Chief Robert J. Bridge said his officers are doubling the fund-raising effort this year. Those taking part in the whisker growing event will sport their beards until the end of the year. The money raised will be sent to St. Jude's Children's Hospitals.

BEEVILLE – When you see a police officer around town sporting a growth of full facial hair, it might be a good idea to stop and thank him.

The officer is providing money out of his own pocket for a great cause that helps thousands of youngsters get important medical care.

Police Chief Robert J. Bridge said that each officer who is growing his facial hair is donating $20 a month to a pot that will be sent to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

“It’s part of “No Shave November,” a fund-raising idea that has been around for several years now.

Only this year the Beeville Police Department has doubled the effort by declaring November and December as no-shave months.

“Some of the officers haven’t shaved in almost a month now,” the chief said.

The results have been mixed but impossible to ignore. Some officers do not grow a lot of facial hair, and others sprout a full face of dark hair just by thinking about it.

The atmosphere around Beeville’s Police Training Center has changed as some officers walk through the building looking more like hobos than policemen.

The training center is where the BPD’s administrators and investigators are working temporarily while the main offices are being cleared of mold and asbestos.

Bridge said every officer who is growing his whiskers until the end of the year is donating $20 a month toward what will eventually be a handsome gift to St. Jude’s.

“It’s a worthy cause,” the chief said.

St. Jude’s provides treatment against cancer and other diseases for children in hospitals and research centers in nine states.

The program runs entirely on donations. No family ever receives a bill for the care their children receive.

Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5220, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.