BENNINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) — The Bennington Police Department donated fundraiser proceeds to the Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center on September 15. The department raised $2,850 during the cancer awareness fundraiser last year.

“We are happy to provide these funds for equipment and supplies at the Cancer Center,” Chief Paul Doucette said. “Many members of the Department have friends or family members that have been affected by cancer and felt this was a positive way to give back to the community, as well as showing support for all patients at the Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center. ”

The funds were raised by selling pink t-shirts and patches to department staff and members of the public. Staff could pay to wear the t-shirts to work on Fridays throughout the few months of the fundraiser.

Officers could also pay to grow facial hair. A department policy that prohibits growing facial hair was suspended temporarily for the fundraiser.

“On behalf of our patients and staff, we’d like to thank the Bennington Police Department for this generous donation.” said Charlene Ives, MD, medical director of the Cancer Center. “It is remarkable that this support should come from our local police officers and police department staff, because they already do so much valuable work in service to the public every day. We are so grateful.”

The Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, a distinction granted to only the top 25 percent of cancer centers nationwide. In addition, 100 percent of its nurses are oncology certified.