Cecil Whig - - LO­CAL -

ac­cord­ing to Sgt. Michael Kalin­sky, with the sher­iff’s of­fice’s Com­mu­nity Re­sources Unit.

Camp Open Arms was founded by Dr. Joshua Abzug, a pe­di­atric or­thopaedist at the Univer­sity of Mary­land School of Medicine who wanted to cre­ate a camp where chil­dren with limb dif­fer­ences were able to en­joy a camp ex­pe­ri­ence.

“The doc­tor founded the camp to give the kids an op­por­tu­nity to in­ter­act with other chil­dren with sim­i­lar limb dif­fer­ences and al­low them to see that they can do any­thing that any other child with no limb dif­fer­ences could do,” Kalin­sky said.

Some of the chil­dren at the camp were born with a limb dif­fer­ence through an ill­ness or a ge­netic dis­or­der, while oth­ers ac­quired a limb dif­fer­ence at some later point dur­ing their life due to ill­ness, an ac­ci­dent or other rea­son.

Chil­dren with limb dif­fer­ences are able to at­tend the camp free of charge, with the camp be­ing sup­ported by dona­tions to the Univer­sity of Mary­land Med­i­cal Sys­tem Foun­da­tion, like the funds raised by Ce­cil No Shave.

Ac­cord­ing to Kalin­sky, the camp brings in phys­i­cal ther­a­pists, med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als and coun­selors, as well as pro­vides kids with op­por­tu­ni­ties to be ac­tive and have fun.

“With all the vol­un­teers there, every­thing is done to make sure that the kids are get­ting a reg­u­lar day camp ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said.

While other “No Shave Novem­ber”-type events typ­i­cally sup­port the fight against can­cer through can­cer aware­ness, re­search and treat­ment, Ce­cil No Shave opted in­stead to raise money for Camp Open Arms.

When the now an­nual cam­paign be­gan in 2015, Kalin­sky said the money raised did go to­ward fight­ing can­cer as one of the sher­iff’s of­fice’s re­tired deputies had a fa­ther who passed away after bat­tling the dis­ease. Since then, the fundraiser has shifted to sup­port Camp Open Arms after CCSO Det. Don­ald Lidy’s daugh­ter, Rosie, was born with a limb dif­fer­ence.

“Rosie won’t be able to at­tend the camp for a few more years, but it was very per­sonal for us be­cause we knew all the sac­ri­fices that [the de­tec­tive] and his fam­ily were mak­ing to make sure that Rosie had a fight­ing chance,” Kalin­sky said.

While at­tend­ing a din­ner at the camp, Kalin­sky re­called a video the or­ga­niz­ers showed about two of their campers: a boy and a girl who be­came best friends at the camp, and who went to Ocean City to­gether with the boy’s fam­ily.

“I do a lot of cool stuff with dif­fer­ent char­i­ties and dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions, but this one’s life-chang­ing,” Kalin­sky said. “Not just for the kids, but for those of us who have had the op­por­tu­nity to go down and be a part of this. You see kids with all sorts of limb dif­fer­ences … just run­ning around and hav­ing a good time.”

While most Ce­cil No Shave par­tic­i­pants are men, Kalin­sky said CCSO did have two fe­male deputies par­tic­i­pate, in­clud­ing Dfc. Lind­sey Ressin.

Ressin is a mem­ber of the trans­port unit that comes to CCSO a cou­ple times per week to drop off pa­per­work and pick up ma­te­ri­als for the de­ten­tion cen­ter. On one such visit in the spring­time, Kalin­sky asked Ressin if she wanted to be in­volved with the an­nual cam­paign. She im­me­di­ately said “yes.”

“She’s a very very forth­right per­son … She was gung-ho pretty much from the first con­ver­sa­tion back in May,” Kalin­sky said.

Ressin pledged to get a hair­cut if Ce­cil No Shave reached its $20,000 goal. So, after CCSO crossed that mon­e­tary mark, Ressin vis­ited Do­main Spa & Salon on Tues­day, Nov. 27, where she got her first hair­cut in three years and do­nated ap­prox­i­mately 15 inches of hair to Locks of Love.

Kalin­sky said Ressin’s hair do­na­tion, the other deputies’ will­ing­ness to forgo shav­ing for an en­tire month, and com­mu­nity mem­bers’ con­tri­bu­tions to the fundraiser through T-shirt sales and out­right dona­tions are all tes­ta­ments to the great cause that Ce­cil No Shave sup­ports.

Dur­ing its first year, Ce­cil No Shave do­nated close to $7,000 to the Mary­land Can­cer So­ci­ety. In the fol­low­ing two years, the event raised about $17,000 each year for Camp Open Arms. This year, Kalin­sky said the fundraiser has peaked at about $23,000, sur­pass­ing the pre­vi­ous two years’ amounts by $6,000.

Kalin­sky wanted to give a spe­cial shout out to Ce­cil County Pub­lic Schools, which he said helped raised close to $8,000 alone for Ce­cil No Shave.

“That’s been one of the most fun as­pects for me this year is go­ing out to the schools or see­ing the pic­tures of the teach­ers wear­ing their shirts in sup­port of what we’re do­ing,” he said.

Kalin­sky said the out­pour­ing of sup­port from the com­mu­nity has been in­cred­i­bly heart­warm­ing.

“They ap­pre­ci­ate see­ing the deputies with the beards,” he said. “Some of the pic­tures are kind of out there as far as peo­ple try­ing to get cre­ative and get more likes than the other deputies. It’s ex­tremely sup­port­ive.”

As part of Ce­cil No Shave, CCSO has sold over 400 T-shirts, with or­ders from peo­ple as far as In­di­ana, Kalin­sky said.

“My of­fice looks like a ware­house right now,” he said.

Novem­ber can get a bit hairy with the over­whelm­ing num­ber of T-shirts that Ce­cil No Shave donors pur­chase, but Kalin­sky said the hard work that he and his col­leagues put into the fundraiser each year proves to be worth it when they see the kids at camp run­ning around, play­ing soc­cer, drum­ming and danc­ing.

“At the end of the day, the fam­i­lies that send their kids to the camp and the campers make this ex­tremely worth­while,” he said. “I am now look­ing for­ward to Au­gust when I get to go to camp again for a day and see the kids and see where the money is go­ing. I’ve raised a lot of money for char­ity over the years be­fore I was a Ce­cil County deputy and since, but be­ing able to see where the money ac­tu­ally goes and see­ing the smiles on their faces, that’s the re­ward.”


Mem­bers of the Ce­cil County Sher­iff’s Of­fice snaps a selfie of the beard he is grow­ing for Ce­cil No Shave 2018. In­spired by “No Shave Novem­ber”-type events, Ce­cil No Shave raises money for Camp Open Arms, a day camp in Monk­ton that pro­vides a fun and ac­ces­si­ble camp ex­pe­ri­ence to chil­dren with limb dif­fer­ences.


DFC Lind­sey Ressin gets her first hair­cut in three years from a hair stylist, Meghan, at Do­main Spa & Salon. Ressin do­nated ap­prox­i­mately 15 inches of her hair to Locks of Love in sup­port of Ce­cil No Shave 2018.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.