Rockford, Loves Park officers raise thousands of dollars for "No Shave November"

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- "No Shave November" means the end of beards for many people, but much more for local police departments.

Some Rockford police officers have also grown out beards to benefit charities for three years. Officers were able to raise more than $1,000 for the University of Illinois College of Medicine, which will be used to advance research of prostate and testicular cancer.

"We participate in numerous charities throughout the area and this is just one extra we can do," said Rockford Police Sgt. Timothy Speltz. "It has a well-added twist with growing the beards."

Speltz says growing out the beard was a bit of a transition for some.

"Uniformed officers have to be clean shaven or have a mustache," Speltz said. "But for the month of November there is an exception."

For the second straight year, officers in Loves Park have also grown out beards in an effort to raise money toward health.

The Loves Park fundraiser will benefit the Children's Rooftop Hearing Garden Playground, which is located at the Mercyhealth Hospital and Trauma Center Riverside campus.

Loves Park police raised more than $3,000 for the playground, which will open in January.

Officers from both the Rockford and Loves Park police departments made also made a small donation to grow out their beards during the fundraisers.