‘No Shave December’ adds Santa to the mix

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UNION COUNTY, NJ — On Tuesday, Dec. 19, members and supporters of the Union County Police PBA 73 gathered at the Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside for a special event to benefit the facility’s long-term care patients. Members of the PBA 73 started an annual tradition of collecting donations from their members for a fundraiser that they have coined “No Shave December.”

Here’s how it works: Interested members donate money through the PBA 73 and for the duration of December, members are permitted to grow out their facial hair and be exempt from that specific provision of the department’s grooming regulations. The members’ donations are combined and the PBA 73 donates the funds to the Children’s Specialized Hospital, in order to benefit the children under the facility’s care. This tradition began last year but this year the PBA 73 wanted to do even more and came up with a plan to donate toys to the children and have Santa Claus visit the kids to brighten up their holiday season.

The PBA 73 contacted Union County Commissioner Chairperson Sergio Granados and, with his assistance, was able to collect age-appropriate gifts for the children. On the afternoon of the event, Santa Claus arrived at the Children’s Specialized Hospital in a Union County police motorcade. Santa Claus and members and supporters of the PBA 73 entered the hospital, distributed the presents to the children and brightened up their day with holiday cheer.

A special thanks to Union County Commissioners Granados and Kim Mouded-Palmieri for their continued support of this tradition. A very special thanks to Union County Police PBA 73 member Peter Wengerter for being a very convincing and inspirational Santa Claus.

Photos Courtesy of Kenneth Dalrymple