CCSO members growing beards for good cause
— November is here, which means Cecil County Sheriff’s Office members will, once again, face off in the agency’s annual beard-growing contest aimed at raising money for a designated cause.
Last year’s inaugural “No Shave November” campaign raised more than $5,000 for the American Cancer Society, with every participating deputy and correctional officer making a $40 donation to gain a month-long exclusion from the agency’s policy against beards, goatees and unkept mustaches.
To make that effort possible, Sheriff Scott Adams waived the facial hair policy for November 2015 for every contributor, fully grasping that generating funds for the American Cancer Society is a worthy enough cause to make such exceptions.
Adams is doing likewise again this November, having deemed this year’s beneficiary — Camp Open Arms — also worthy.
A collaboration of the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital and the University of Maryland Department of Orthopaedics, the camp is exclusively for children who have upper limb abnormalities due to birth defects or injuries.
As it turns out, CCSO Dfc. Donald Lidy and his wife, Annette, have an 11-month-old daughter, Rosie, who falls into that category.
Because of a rare genetic syndrome, Rosie was born with one digit on each hand and her arms locked upward, according to her father. Continuing physical therapy has enabled the girl to lower her arms some, he said. Rosie has been under the care of pediatric orthopaedist Dr. Josh Abzug, the camp’s founder and director, since birth, he added.
Rosie was able to attend the camp in Monkton in August, along with her siblings. The
camp runs on donated funds.
“It provides the children with a positive, carefree camp experience,” Lidy said, adding that it also allows the parents of children with limb deficiencies to interact and relate to one another because of their common bond.
The camp’s mission is to provide a fun yet challenging threeday camp experience for those children, with the goals of helping them gain strength, courage, and determination while building bonds with other children and families just like them. The summer camp offers experiences like nature hikes, tree swings and arts & crafts.
Because of their connection to Lidy, this year’s No Shave November is more personal for the deputies than last year’s campaign.
“It’s another good cause, just like the American Cancer Society, but this hits closer to home because we know someone who had benefitted from it,” explained CCSO Dfc. Joshua Brewer, who is assigned to the agency’s K9 Unit.
Cpl. Mike Rea, a correctional officer, agreed, adding, “It makes it even more meaningful for us.”
In promoting the charity effort on the agency’s Facebook page, Sgt. Michael Kalinsky, referred to Rosie and posted, “Her father’s partners at the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office would like to give more kids across Maryland the same opportunity that Rosie and the Lidys had, and (they) are going to donate the money they raise from their NoShave November project to Camp Open Arms.”
Kalinsky described Lidy as “humble man” and reported that Lidy and his wife are humbled by CCSO members supporting Camp Open Arms.
Approximately 45 deputies and correctional officers are participating, Kalinsky reported. In addition to donating the $ 40 each paid to obtain the month- long “restraining order” against their razors, most have posted their “before” shots on the agency’s Facebook page and plan to post “progress” photos throughout the month, in hopes of inspiring people to make contributions to Camp Open Arms in their names.
So, yes, the deputies and correctional officers are competing for bragging rights — whether it be for generating the highest sum of donations for Camp Open Arms or, much more subjectively, for growing the thickest, best- looking beard.
As with any friendly competition, there will be some playful ribbing, which has already started.
“They call you Detective Baby Face,” Brewer teased Det. Tyler Price on Tuesday, during a photo session for the “before” shot.
Grinning and blushing, Tyler acknowledged, “I have difficulty growing a beard. I may get two or three hairs going.”
“I’v seen worse,” Brewer responded encouragingly.
From left, Cecil County Sheriff’s Office correctional officers Dfc. Clay Chaney, Dfc. Sam Burton and Cpl. Mike Rea smile in their “before” shot taken Tuesday — day one of the month-long, charity beard-growing competition known as No Shave November.
Cecil County Sheriff’s Office Dfc. Donald Lidy and his wife, Annette, hold their 11-month-old daughter, Rosie, who was born with one digit on each hand and her arms locked upward, due to a rare genetic syndrome. In August, the Lidys attended a camp for youngsters with limb deficiencies, and it will be the beneficiary of CCSO’s current No Shave November fundraising event.