Homewood officers present $23K check to Cancer Support Center

Homewood police officers visited their neighbors across the street Friday to present Cancer Support Center with a check representing a donation of more than $23,000. Thirty-five officers collected donations over the last 30 days as part of a No Shave November fundraiser.
 
“You guys blew it out of the water,” said Rachael Kemnic, Cancer Support Center development director. “We’re so appreciative of you all. Thirty-five of you signed up and every single person raised money for the Cancer Support Center.”
 
Kemnic helped the effort by setting up a web page where people could make donations in the name of an officer.
 
Steve Brandenburger, who led the effort, raised the most of all the officers, with $2,829. However, officer Darren Easter was only $2 behind. 
 
Later, two Cancer Support Center volunteers judged all the officers’ beards through an interactive evaluation process. They awarded the Best Beard prize to officer E.J. Dorsey, who was at the event with his 1-year-old daughter, Piper.
 
“This is my first time ever growing a beard,” Dorsey said. “I can never get it past the itchy stage. But this was for a good cause, so I stuck it out.”
 
For his fuzzy efforts, Dorsey won a bottle of premium after shave and cleansing bar.
 
The judges seemed uncertain about the Worst Beard award, but finally settled on giving it to Chief Bill Alcott. He said, because he’s the chief, he got to pass it to whomever he thought had the worst beard. He selected young officer Rocco Giannelli. 
 
Jim Kvedaras, president of the CSC board of directors, thanked the officers at the presentation and later said their contribution was impressive.
 
“This is a very sizeable, significant amount,” Kvedaras said.
 
To grow their beards, the officers first had to gain approval from Alcott, who said it’s well known he’s “against beards in uniform.” Not only did Alcott agree, he grew his own beard and was the third-highest fundraiser. 
 
“To have them convince me to let them grow beards was really their biggest accomplishment,” Alcott said. “The Homewood police family has been affected by cancer severely. I’m proud of every one of us.” 
 
Photos by Carole Sharwarko/H-F Chronicle.
 
 

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