BEARDS

Several members of the Belmont Police Department grew beards for October to raise money for the Lakes Region Child Advocacy Center, then decided to extend their bearded season until Friday, to help raise funds for the Greater Lakes Region Children's Auction. Shown here, from left to right: Evan Boulanger, Chris Kloetz, Joel Pickowicz, Patrick Riley and Matthew Terry. Bearded BPD members not shown are Stephen Akerstrom and Joseph McDowell. Donations are being accepted at auction headquarters, the Belmont police station or Polished and Proper Barbershop. (Courtesy photo)

BELMONT — The fuzzy fuzz of the Belmont Police Department will be shorn of their two-months’ growth of facial hair Friday — and all for a good cause.

Seven officers have been letting their beards grow for more than two months as a way of raising money for services for the victims of child abuse and those suffering from cancer.

In order to participate, officers had to donate $30 of their own money and in addition collect donations from others to go toward the causes.

During October the funds raised went to the Greater Lakes Child Advocacy Center — a facility in which law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental health, medical and victim advocacy professionals work together to investigate abuse, help children heal from abuse, and hold offenders accountable.

Police Chief Mark Lewandoski decided to extend the effort another month — this time for officers to participate in the No Shave November event for the Cops for Cancer program, Belmont Police Capt. Rich Mann said.

On Friday, the officers — Sgt. Steve Akerstrom, Cpl. Matthew Terry, Sgt. Evan Boulanger, Master Patrol Officer Joel Pickowicz, and Officers Joel Riley, Kris Kloetz, and Joe McDowell — will sit in a barber’s chair on the set of the Central New Hampshire Children’s Auction while barbers from Polished and Proper barbershop bring the men back to regulation police grooming standards.

All donations made during the shave-a-thon will be donated to the Children’s Auction, which raises money for local charities, Mann said. Donations are being accepted at auction headquarters, the Belmont police station or Polished and Proper Barbershop.

Other area departments participate in the same or similar fundraising programs.

Most of Gilford’s police force also let their beards grow so they too could help the Child Advocacy Center and the Cops for Cancer effort.

Gilford Deputy Police Chief Kris Kelley said the officers collectively had raised about $500 for the cancer cause.

Laconia police participate in a beard-growing fundraiser during February to benefit Special Olympics, according to Police Chief Matt Canfield.

The Belmont, Gilford, and Laconia police departments, like most departments across the state, prohibit officers from sporting beards, but do allow them to have neatly trimmed mustaches.

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