Razors end extended No-Shave NovemberJanuary 3, 2020
By BILL POWELL
A series of hot, straight-razor shaves done gratis Thursday at Mike’s Barber Shop officially ended a Jasper Police Department extended, augmented No-Shave November that raised money for the fight against cancer.
Jasper’s police department had traditionally allowed officers to grow beards in November in exchange for participation donations funneled to local worthy causes. That practice rose to the next level this holiday season.
Officer Michael Stallman came up with a new approach after talking with Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers during an October training workshop. The Indy officers were already sporting beards and Stallman learned that, since October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, they were doing something special to support a female officer who fought and won that particular battle.
Stallman returned and went to his department brass with a proposal: Jasper police could raise money for the Lange-Fuhs Cancer Center by paying $20 a month during November and December in exchange for the opportunity to sprout beards.
But he took the proposal further.
Stallman wanted to make the fundraiser open to everyone in the department, including dispatchers, administration and detectives. And his idea was also to support the fight against all types of cancer.
Since he and his wife, Autumn, operate a custom embroidery and banner business — MAS Whatknots — they would give each participant a T-shirt in the color promoting awareness of the cancer fight important to them: pink for breast cancer, yellow for bone cancer, orange for leukemia and so on.
For dispatchers and others whose uniform of the day is a polo shirt, the Stallmans also offered to embroider department shirts with the color thread that promoted awareness of a particular cancer.
“Cancer has affected a lot of the people at the police station in some way or form,” Stallman says.
His sales pitch worked. The program got a stamp of approval and the Stallmans handed out more than 30 shirts.
“There are so many shades of shirts out there we had to jump across a couple of different manufacturers to get all the different colors,” Stallman says. “It went really well.”
The fundraiser channeled more than $1,200 to the Lange-Fuhs Cancer Center. There was overwhelming participation in Jasper and officers with the Huntingburg Police Department who had staged their own No-Shave event added their proceeds to Jasper’s total to join forces. Connie Egloff, integrative medicine coordinator with Lange-Fuhs Cancer Center, was on hand at the barbershop to accept the donation Thursday.
There was also something to be said for the public’s interaction with bearded officers with non-traditional T-shirt colors peeking out from under uniform shirts, said Stallman, who had sported a hot pink T-shirt under his standard uniform blouse.
“Sometimes, for folks to see us not being clean-cut, maybe it’s an icebreaker,” Stallman says. “People do interact with us different. It’s been a little bit of an icebreaker and started a few conversations.”
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