If you see a normally clean shaven Gastonia Police officer with a five o’clock shadow or beard in November, please feel free to ask, “Why haven’t you shaved?”
The Gastonia Police Department (GPD) is partnering with Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) to raise awareness and funds in a campaign called “No-Shave November.” GPD holds fundraisers for SONC annually through events such as the Law Enforcement Torch Run, and this is the third year for a No-Shave November.
Participating officers donate $40 to SONC and hand out a flyer about the campaign to anyone asking about their growing facial hair. No-Shave Novembers in 2017 and 2018 were the most successful fundraisers the GPD did for SONC, raising $3,000 each year, according to Sgt. Scott Norton, GPD’s Special Olympics fundraising committee chairman.
“We are looking to raise the same as the last two years,” Norton said. “It’s a fun opportunity and it’s for a great cause.”
The mission of SONC is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Athletic competition provides continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.
“The Gastonia Police family supports SONC and this is one way that we’ll be demonstrating that support during the month of November,” Chief Robert Helton said. Anyone interested in making a donation to SONC in honor of the Gastonia Police Department may do so online at http://sonc.net/give/.