After a month of growing out their facial hair, Ardmore police officers shaved off their whiskers and distributed checks of $800 to four local nonprofits last week.
A total of $3,200 was raised by the Ardmore Fraternal Order of Police’s second annual No-Shave November campaign, slightly outmatching the proceeds from last year’s fundraising campaign, said Ardmore FOP Lodge 108 president Matt Miller.
Miller said the campaign was introduced last year as a way for the officers to help benefit the community and give back to the nonprofit organizations within it. “I think this year everybody kind of knew it was coming so they were looking forward to it,” he said.
The four non-profits benefiting from the campaign this year were Sarah’s Project, the Community Children’s Shelter, Heroes with Hope and the Family Shelter of Southern Oklahoma.
A larger participation on behalf of the community this year allowed the officers to “give them a nice check for the holidays,” Miller said. While a majority of the officers seized the opportunity to deviate from their typical clean shaven look, the general money donated for the cause was greater than the money donated to sponsor officers to grow out their beards.
For those officers who didn’t want or weren’t able to grow a nice, full beard, these donations offered a surplus of proceeds for the nonprofits, Miller said.
“That’s a great thing, that’s something that we didn’t have last year, so that’s just kind of a testament to this community and how it’s kind of building and growing,” Miller said.
Typically only allowed a mustache at most, officers saw a nice response from the community as they sported their new looks, Miller said. And with an increasing amount of interest in the campaign there are plans to do it again next year.
“We’ve had some nice reactions from families of officers that like them,” Miller said. “Most of the time we’re all slick faced, running around looking like babies, but whenever we get to grow (beards) we usually get a pretty positive reaction.”