Officers Sherry Gibson and Tony Celona tabled in the Shapiro Science Center with free cookies and pink patches to fundraise and raise awareness about Breast Cancer Awareness Month through the Pink Patch project, on Oct. 4. They told The Brandeis Hoot that for the month of October, officers had the option to put the new pink patches on their uniforms, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The tabling was done in the hopes of raising awareness of the fundraising the department is during the month. They are raising funds for the Dana-Farber Cancer Center, with a goal of $1 thousand; you can donate here. At the time of publication, they had raised $295. Additionally, the department was giving out sugar cookies with pink frosting, which were sampled by the Chief of Public Safety to assure the highest quality possible. They also had pink Brandeis Police patches available. Officers had the option to go to a tailor to sew their pink patch to their uniform, which many officers have done. These patches are simply pink versions of the public safety employee’s uniform patch.
The Pink Patch Project is an innovative public awareness campaign which originated in 2013 with the Seal Beach Police Department in Southern California, according to their website. The officers there wore pink patches on their uniforms during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is October. From there, various departments all over the country started fundraising using the pink patches. Today the program spans “several hundred partner agencies throughout the world and includes partners from police, sheriff, fire, EMS and federal departments worldwide,” according to their website.
The goal of the project is to increase awareness about the “life-saving benefits of early detection and early intervention in the fight against breast cancer.” They also have the goal of raising funds for research and treatment of cancer. Additionally, the department has many more fundraising ideas to raise awareness for many other issues.
According to Detective Sergeant Dana Kelley, the department will likely participate in more initiatives in the future, such as with pride patches. For example, the department is also participating in No-Shave November, which officer Tony Celona described as a “fun competition on who can grow the biggest beard.” No-Shave November is “a month-long journey during which participants forgo shaving and grooming in order to evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness.” The department is not just stopping there: they are going all the way until December without shaving! However, in order to participate, officers have to donate $100 to fundraise for cancer awareness. Others can also support the officers in their efforts to fundraise.
Even above and beyond these two events, Celona and Gibson still say that there are “more events in the works,” and to be on the lookout for more events by their department.