Area police officers grow beards to give kids respite from cancer

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury Police Department’s second annual “Deer Camp Beard’s for Kids with Cancer” campaign has raised more than $2,200 for programming at Camp Ta-Kum-Ta.
Middlebury police Officer Darrin Hinterneder once again coordinated the effort, which included participation from other Addison County law enforcement agencies, including the Addison County Sheriff’s Department.
Participants were granted a temporary reprieve from their respective agencies’ grooming standards and were allowed to grow beards through deer hunting season — provided each contributed at least $30 to Camp Ta-Kum-Ta.
Based in South Hero, Camp Ta-Kum-Ta provides great recreational experiences for children battling cancer, and their families. The camp is an independent, tax-exempt organization. Thanks to the community support and approximately 120 staff volunteers, Ta-Kum-Ta has expanded from its one week summer camp to offering programs year round. It has an annual budget of around $900,000, derived from grants, foundations, private donations and from around 70 events each year.
The police officers didn’t actively solicit contributions from the folks they encountered while on duty, but offered the donation opportunity to those who inquired. The department designed and passed out a custom-made badge to those who contributed at least $30. Hinterneder gave a particular shout-out to the Addison Independent, 92.1 WVTK, the Addison County Sheriff’s Department and the Bristol Police Department for their support during the campaign.
Officers were allowed to grow their facial hair through muzzle loader season.
Reporter John Flowers is at johnf@addisonindependent.com.

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