Twenty-nine members of the South Whitehall Township Police Department, and 13 Orefield Middle School teachers participated in this year’s No Shave November fundraiser.
The goal was to increase awareness by embracing their hair, something many cancer patients lose, with the officers and teachers growing beards or goatees.
Each officer needed to donate a minimum $50 of his own money which would have typically been spent on shaving and grooming to participate.
In addition to South Whitehall police and OMS teachers, the Allentown Fire Department, and P.J. Whelihan’s Pub and Restaurant joined in the fundraiser.
Allentown Fire Chief Lee Laubach explained why department staff took part in this year’s fundraiser, but did not grow beards.
“The firefighters did not grow beards because it is against safety protocols for the seals on our self contained breathing devices,” Laubach said.
“We partnered with South Whitehall police for this event to support the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley because of the good work they do with children in lieu of doing the ‘No Shave.’”
The firefighters may not have grown beards, but they did participate in the fundraising event at P.J. Whelihan’s Pub and Restaurant, where the restaurant donated 15 percent of customer’s total bill Nov. 29 to the PCFLV.
Laubach said firefighters participated because cancer has always been a cause the Allentown Fire Department has chosen to support.
“We also participated because one of our member’s children as well as my cousin’s daughter was assisted by the Pediatric Cancer Foundation,” he said.
He was told about this year’s fundraiser by South Whitehall Police Chief John Christman.
“We have worked on other projects with the Pediatric Cancer Foundation, such as the summer camp they hold at Cedar Crest College,” Laubach said. “We did a presentation and meet and greet with our arson K-9 Judge this past summer.”
Laubach said an Allentown firefighter’s son has cancer and is still undergoing treatments.
“He has been part of the Pediatric Cancer Foundation programs for a couple years,” he said. “My cousin’s daughter is actually in remission, but was part of the programs offered for quite a few years and is actually now giving back to the program.”
“I was very proud the Allentown Fire Department could team up with South Whitehall police for this very worthy cause,” Laubach emailed.
Angela Brown, manager at P.J. Whelihan’s at the Walbert, explained why the restaurant decided to donate 15 percent of a customer’s total bill to PCFLV.
“When Chief Christman presented this to us, the three general managers for the Lehigh Valley locations, Janel Hrycyszyn from P.J. at the Walbert, Hillary Quay from P.J., Allentown, and Tara Del Vecchio from Bethlehem were very supportive and eager to take part in this cause,” Brown said. “We hope that this is a very successful fundraiser for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley and are happy we are able to be a part of this event.”
The proceeds, $3,112.28 collected from all three restaurants, were recently donated to the Pediatric Cancer Foundation.
Tracy Stauffer, marketing and community relations coordinator with the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley, discussed South Whitehall Police Department’s support.
“The Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley is so thankful to South Whitehall Township Police Department for their continued support,” Stauffer said. “Their willingness to help local kids with cancer through the No Shave November fundraiser is fantastic.”
She said everyone at the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley is very excited South Whitehall Township Police Department took part in the No Shave November fundraiser again this year.
“Our funds remain here in the Lehigh Valley to help pediatric cancer families,” Stauffer said. “To see how much effort and love they put into this program is heartwarming.
“Thank you to the South Whitehall Township Police Department and Chief John Christman for once again selecting PCFLV as the recipient of their No Shave November fundraising efforts.
“The officers and staff always go above and beyond to help local kids who have cancer, and for that we are very thankful.”
The PCFLV recently learned of five newly diagnosed children in the Lehigh Valley. To know the South Whitehall Police Department is supporting the Pediatric Cancer Foundation is truly special, she said.
For more information about the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley, visit pcflv.org.