Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Constable Darcy Nicol served hungry diner Dan Charysz some extra shredded cheese. Const. Nicol has been participating in the Cops for Cancer event for several years and has helped raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society - Renfrew County Unit. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

Cops for Cancer raises $6,592

Community News

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday, June 2, 2016

For the eighth year in a row, police officers from all over the area demonstrated their support in the quest for a world without cancer by shaving their heads at First Choice Haircutters and personally serving meals at East Side Mario’s in Pembroke.

Cops for Cancer is an annual event which raises money for Canadian Cancer Society - Renfrew County Unit. This year, $6,592 was collected, which will be used for research as well as local programs.

“I think its great for (police officers) to get more involved in the community and raise money for a great cause,” said the society’s Volunteer Coordinator Terri McNamara.

The event was started by five police officers volunteering for a head shaving. Going bald wasn’t nearly enough, though, and many found themselves beardless as well; one officer even shaved his eyebrows for extra donations.

“I didn’t get mine shaved, but there were other officers who did very well with regards of funds,” said Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Constable Shawn Peever.

From that event alone, they raised $4,900.

“We didn’t know how much to expect in regards to head (shaving) having pledges, so it was a pleasant surprise,” said Peever. “One of the officers was almost to $3,000 alone.”

With many proudly sporting their clean shaves, the officers then went on to the restaurant to try their hand at the service industry. To prevent any mix-ups or spills, they were paired with veteran servers, some of whom even donated their night’s wage to further the police’s cause.

Owner of East Side Mario’s Todd Fletcher wasn’t worried about mistakes. After so many years offering his restaurant space for this fundraiser, he has realized that police members aren’t without talents in the dining room.

“They are great waiters, he said. “A lot of them have been doing this for five or six years... They might drop or break some dishes, but I don’t think they’ll spill anything on anybody.”

The officers were also a huge draw as hungry patrons were able to spend time with them in a casual setting.

“It’s great just for the community to interact with cops in a fun way,” Fletcher said.

Live music and draws also helped entice diners into lending their support to the cause.

“Its just a great fun night,” said Peever. “... We want to keep on doing it annually to raise those important funds for cancer.”