GVPD holds department-first ‘No-Shave November’ to raise money for students

Courtesy to GVPD

Courtesy to GVPD

Adam Trombley, Staff Reporter

In a year so full of confusion, the Grand Valley Police Department (GVPD) is doing their best to help bring some joy to Grand Valley State University’s community while also donating to a great cause. Some officers around campus will be sporting new facial hair and colorful hairstyles as the department is participating in their first No-Shave November. This month-long event is meant to bring joy to students and staff around GVSU’s campuses while also donating to students who have been diagnosed with cancer.

“I think the primary responsibility is to raise cancer awareness, and we can benefit students here,” said GVPD Capt. Jeffrey Stoll. “I think the secondary component is for the community to see officers be human. I think sometimes it’s nice to see what people look like and for the public to see us with facial hair, it is not something you see all the time. Maybe it makes you smile and laugh at how good or ridiculous it might look.”

Because it is the first year the department is trying this fundraiser out, they have no specific goal in the amount they are trying to raise, but there is a variety of ways that these officers are able to contribute to the cause. Male officers can grow their facial out while the female officers are allowed to dye their hair a different color. Officers who do not want to participate by doing either one of these will donate $30 to the Laura Sakoski Memorial Scholarship Endowment.

Stoll said that officers are generally not allowed to grow out their facial hair in their department, but since the idea was pitched and passed by the administration, the idea came to fruition. Stoll came up with the idea after talking to some fellow colleagues and members of other departments who have done No-Shave November in their departments.

“It’s just an interesting thing to have some fun with our staff, our officers, and kind of benefit with the community,” Stoll said. “I think there’s a lot of people that just don’t know what they are going to look like at the end.”

Stoll’s idea to spread the word about what the department is doing is through their social media pages, but he thinks the interactions he and his fellow officers have with the community will also help to spread the word. As of right now, there are 10 officers who have suggested they are doing or are interested in participating in the event.

“I haven’t grown my facial hair beyond five days in my entire life, so I have no idea what I’m going to look like at the end of the month,” Stoll said with a laugh. “I think my end result is going to be a lot whiter than I would have thought. My wife is not happy.”

No-Shave November has been a very successful fundraiser in helping to raise money for cancer research across the United States over the past few years and Stoll is excited to see how the department and community embrace the initiative.

The GVPD has added links to their social media post about No-Shave November for those who would like to donate to the Laura Sakoski Memorial Scholarship Endowment.