Middlesex County News

South Plainfield Police Department's No-Shave Effort Raises Funds in Honor of Retired Officer’s Late Wife

Some of the members of the South Plainfield Police Department, including Chief James Parker, who are taking part in the No-Shave November fundraising effort. Credits: Victoria Caruso

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Officers and civilian employees of the South Plainfield Police Department along with Chief James Parker, Mayor Matt Anesh and Councilman Derryck White ditched their razors this month in support of No-Shave November, a fundraiser geared at raising money and awareness for cancer prevention.

To date, the department has raised $1,000 through the fundraiser and plans to extend their participation in the no-shave effort through December. Additionally, the PBA has pledged to match the initial $1,000 raised by the department with Mayor Anesh also contributing money from his wedding fund and TAPinto South Plainfield pledging an additional $250. The money will be donated to a local cancer organization in memory of Lisa Vega, the late wife of retired South Plainfield Police Officer Roberto Vega.

“Unfortunately, the wife of one of our officers passed away a few months back and we wanted to do something in her honor. The money we raised through this fundraiser will be donated to a cancer foundation on her behalf,” said South Plainfield Police Detective and PBA President Anthony Pacillo, adding that fundraising in honor of Vega’s late wife ‘just seemed like the right thing to do.’

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“Lisa battled cancer for a long time, was the mother of a 12-year-old daughter, and Rob is just a genuinely good guy and a hell of a cop. It hit home and I am not at all surprised that so many members of the department participants in support,” he said.

Parker agrees, “The support has been outstanding. It is an honor to be a part of this effort to raise money in honor of Officer Vega’s late wife and for someone in need.”

No-Shave November is a web-based, non-profit organization and, according to its website (https://www.no-shave.org), the goal of the month-long initiative is to ‘grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free.’ Participants are encouraged to donate the money they’d typically spend on shaving and grooming to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle.

“The rules of No-Shave November are simple: put down your razor for 30 days and donate your monthly hair-maintenance expenses to the cause,” states the No-Shave November website.

Last year, a similar fundraising effort launched at South Plainfield Middle School raised $500 with the monies split between St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and to the Simmonds family of South Plainfield. The goal of the police department’s no-shave fundraiser is to help offset costs for someone locally affected by cancer.

“The money will be earmarked for a local patient,” said Pacillo, noting that the department plans to donate the funds to an organization such as the South Plainfield-based Pink SOCS Foundation – Sisters of Cancer Survivors or South Plainfield Middle School Cancer Awareness Club. “Our goal is to fulfill a goal for something someone needs.”

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