Essex police shave ‘no beard rule’ for food shelf fundraiser

Local News

ESSEX, Vt. – Throughout the month of November, Essex police officers got a chance to do something the department has never allowed before – grow a beard.

The Essex Police Department lead an effort to raise money for the Aunt Dot’s Place Food Shelf, and officers who donated got to let their facial hair run wild.

“This is the first time in my life I’ve ever tried growing a beard,” said Officer Brett Williger.

The department was able to raise $1700. Food shelf president Andrea Francalangia said they reached out at the beginning of November and spearheaded the effort from there.

“They really took this on their own and it was great,” Francalangia said. “When I would drive through Five Corners I always noticed an officer with a beard and it was fun to watch it go throughout the month.”

Captain Ron Hoague said some beards were better than others. Corporal Lance Martel’s was regarded as the best. Although Hoague didn’t grow one himself, he was heavily involved in the fundraiser.

“This is an important thing for our department to bring together officers in a concerted cause other than enforcing the law,” Hoague said. “To do something nice for people in the community they serve, that was extra special for us.”

Wednesday was also an open house for the food shelf, and they’re always looking for donations and volunteers. Right now, they especially need non-food items like diapers and household cleaning products.

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