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Men grow beards and cancer awareness in No Shave November

Men all across central Illinois – from administration, to meteorologists, reporters and even police officers – are (quite literally) growing awareness for a great cause.

No-Shave November, as its come to be known, has gained a lot of popularity over the last few years.

“It’s great to bring about awareness, it’s great to bring that topic out in the open just discuss it among peers, among guys,’ explained Audrey Williams of the American Cancer Society.

The idea behind it: men growing out their beards as a sign.

Then, they take any money otherwise used on shaving products and donate it to research towards prostate cancer.

“The fundraising dollars go beyond the month,” said Williams. “We put that money into research and work year round.”

Prostate cancer is the second-most common type of cancer in men, and becomes more likely the older they get.

The American Cancer Society reports more than 60 percent of cases are diagnosed in men over 65.

Raising money for cancer doesn’t have to be a serious affair. The Peoria Police department, for example, is going fuzzy for three months until the end of the year.

“We heard from people that it makes officers more relatable,” explained Public Information Officer Amy Dotson. “To actually have facial hair and not be so completely groomed all the time.”

Peoria Police Sergeant Chad Batterham, for example, is giving it a go this year, after cutting out early in 2017.

“I figured this year, I’d give it a couple months. So this is two months worth right here,” he said, running a hand across his beard-covered chin. “My wife likes it, so I guess that’s the important thing.”

Last year, Peoria Police raised a few thousand dollars to donate to both Susan G. Komen and the American Cancer Society.

This year, they’re back for more – and to earn some bragging rights.

“It just makes it better knowing my beard looks better than Chief Marion’s,” said Batterham with a laugh. “A lot better.”

If you’d like to donate to the American Cancer Society, you can click here.

Mason Dowling

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