LIVINGSTON, NJ — In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Livingston Police Department recently launched its first breast cancer fundraiser after Officer Kelli-Ann Mallek asked Chief Gary Marshuetz for permission to wear pink in support.
In response to his officer’s request, Marshuetz informed all of his officers, and Community Policing Officer Kevin Mullaney clicked into outreach mode.
Mullaney—who, along with Officer Joy Klapal, has plenty of practice in soliciting donations due to the nearly 70 sponsors who support the annual National Night Out event—began calling companies to obtain sponsors and organize a fundraiser. While researching how other police departments are celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness month, Mullaney was inspired when he discovered a nationwide program called the Pink Patch Initiative.
Shortly thereafter, Monte Ehrenkranz of Regal Bank and Margie Heller of Saint Barnabas Medical Center both agreed to donate pink patches for the police officers to wear on their uniforms during the month of October.
“I designed the patches in conjunction with a company in North Carolina that the Essex Fells Police Department uses for their uniforms,” said Mullaney. “Officers were then given patches and told that they could wear the patches for the month of October.”
In addition to creating the police patches, Mullaney also designed pink T-shirts that will be sold for $20 and encourages monetary donations via check as well with all proceeds going toward cancer research at Saint Barnabas.
“By wearing pink, we are hoping to raise awareness that breast cancer affects everyone both in and out of uniform,” said Mullaney. “We also want to raise money for breast cancer research. Wearing pink is a sign of community support but raising money through t-shirt sales will help fund research to better fight this disease.”
Mullaney expressed gratitude to the department’s sponsors, including Mallek and Richard Shue of Collegemania.
“To use a classic Livingston quote, ‘It takes a village,’” he said. “This program would not be possible if several entities in the Livingston community did not come together and make it happen. Officer Mallek had the idea to acknowledge Breast Cancer Awareness Month by wearing pink. Regal Bank and Saint Barnabas donated both the patches and t-shirts—not only to help our officers support such a worthy cause, but also to provide us with a means to raise money for breast cancer awareness and give back.”
Mullaney also thanked Richard Shue of Collegemania, who produced the shirts and discounted the cost in support of the department and the cause.
“This initiative is a small example of how close-knit the Livingston community is and how everyone works together to make the world a better place,” said Mullaney.
For those wishing to contribute, checks can be made payable to the “Saint Barnabas Development Foundation” with the words “Breast Cancer” written in the memo section.
For more information, call the Livingston Police Department at (973) 992-3000.
Pictured in the group photo above are: Officer Levecy DeOliveira, Officer Kevin Mullaney, Monte Ehrenkranz, Officer Jessica Colucci, Chief Gary Marshuetz, Margie Heller, Officer Kelli-Ann Mallek, Captain John Drumm, Captain Thomas Smith, Township Manager Barry Lewis and Martha Ackermann.