SPEARFISH, SD – Thanks to a donation of matching funds from the Spearfish Police Auxiliary, nearly $1,500 will be donated to Special Olympics South Dakota through the Spearfish Police Department’s participation in “No Shave November,” which was extended through the month of December.
“Due to the COVID pandemic, our fundraising endeavors that normally happen throughout the year were curtailed. When the Auxiliary learned that Chief (Curt) Jacobs relaxed the policy requiring clean-shaven officers with a donation to the Special Olympics, we found a way we could contribute to a great charity at the same time,” Auxiliary President Kimberly Smith said. “Extending the ‘No Shave’ through December was a morale boost for the cooler temps and the holiday season.”
“No Shave November” is an awareness campaign during which participants forgo shaving in order to evoke conversations and raise awareness for cancer, along with a multitude of health issues and suicide prevention.
Officer Dustin Ruvolo presented the idea to and organized the fundraiser for the department. After learning the 2020 Polar Plunge event, which annually raises funds for Special Olympics South Dakota, was canceled due to the pandemic, Officer Ruvolo knew members of the department would be on board to do something special to raise money for the organization. He pitched the idea to the department’s command staff, requesting a temporary suspension of the department’s facial hair guidelines for employees who donated $1 each day to not shave, with parameters about length and appearance of facial hair to maintain a professional look. Other members of the department could also make a donation to cause someone else to have to shave, with that donation equal to the number of days the participant has not shaved, and the participant can avoid having to shave by again matching the total donation. The idea was that the rules create a bit of fun, as well as encourage members of the department to increase donations as time goes on.
“Our officers and employees certainly rose to the occasion, raising approximately $750 through November and December,” Chief Jacobs said, explaining that after seeing the success and hearing comments about how much people were enjoying it, he allowed an extension of the program for an additional month. “We are so appreciative of the Auxiliary generously matching the donation. It was a fun way to raise money for a great cause.”
Smith echoed appreciation to all the participants.
“Special thank you to Chief Jacobs for working with us to provide joy within the department and the Special Olympics,” she added.
Donations to Special Olympics South Dakota, which is supported through the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, may be made at this link.
The Spearfish Police Department raised approximately $750 during a “No Shave November” fundraiser that extended through December. The Spearfish Police Auxiliary then matched the amount raised, meaning that nearly $1,500 will be donated to Special Olympics South Dakota. Pictured from left are Spearfish Police Officers Jason Gellett, Andrew Pearson, Dustin Ruvolo, and Hunter Bradley, who all participated in “No Shave November” and December. Photo courtesy Spearfish Police Department