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Buffalo police grow beards to raise funds for Roswell

Lisa Zehler of Transitions Salon shaves the beard of Buffalo Police Officer Obed Casillas. (Lou Michel/Buffalo News)

The second year of allowing Buffalo police officers to grow beards in exchange for donations to Roswell Park Cancer Institute grew bigger.

Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda and Buffalo Police Benevolent Association President Kevin Kennedy on Friday presented a $20,000 check to the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, representing a $1,200 increase over last year.

"Fifty-four percent of the department participated and we raised $10,000 which was matched by the PBA," said Derenda, in commending the police union for its contribution.

Kennedy said it is the PBA's hope that next year's "Buck For Beards" fundraiser will eclipse the $20,000.

Several bearded officers attended the presentation at Police Headquarters and received free shaves from Transitions Salon and New Dawn Salon hair stylists, who donated their services.

Also, Community Police Capt. Steve Nichols asked members of the public to consider donating "gently used" winter coats, hats and gloves for a "Coats For Kids" giveaway set for 3-7 p.m. Wednesday in the Martha Mitchell Community Center at the Kenfield-Langfield housing project.

"We could really use some more coats for this event our housing unit officers are sponsoring," Nichols said. "Coats can be dropped off at any of the department's district stations."

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