Five o’ clock shadows are giving way to full blown beards and mustaches among Wellington safety forces this month.
It’s not because they’re aiming for a more rugged look, either.
The new facial hair is due to it being No-Shave November, an initiative started in 2013 in Illinois that has since contributed $1.4 million to the American Cancer Society.
It and other foundations such as Movember, which launched in America in 2007, aim to raise awareness for prostate cancer and other men’s health issues.
Participants are encouraged to not shave for the entire month of November, then use the time and money usually spent on facial hair maintenance to get health screenings, encourage a loved one to do so, or donate to health related causes.
The original idea of No-Shave November was for the sight of so many unshaven faces to spark conversations on men’s health.
Wellington police Lt. Jeff Shelton said $520 has been raised so far by his department, the Wellington fire district, and the Southern Lorain County Ambulance District.
“All members of the village safety forces got together to form one brotherhood for this,” he said. “Our money is going to fight the opiate epidemic.”
The proceeds will go to the Local Initiative to Network Compassion of Southern Lorain County, a program set up by safety forces to entice those suffering from addiction to come to police for help.
Shelton also said mayor Hans Schneider has set up a collection among the villages utility departments to benefit Well-Help.
“That will go toward getting food and clothes to those in need,” he said. “I thought it was special that our new mayor is able to get the entire village on board and behind each other like this. The whole village is fighting one thing or another and for all of us to work together like this is great. It makes me happy to live down here and work down here.”
To make a donation to the village’s No-Shave November effort, just stop in at the Wellington fire station on Kelly Street or Southern Lorain County Ambulance District headquarters on East Herrick Avenue.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Wellington Enterprise Sgt. Josh Poling, Lt. Jeff Shelton, Dave Knapp, Fred Swanson, and police chief Tim Barfield show off their November facial hair.