OPS officers, first responders planning for a close shave

June 4, 2014   ·   0 Comments

By Tabitha Wells – This Saturday, members of the Orangeville Police Service, along with other first responders and members of the community will gather at the Orangeville Mall for Cops for Cancer.

Cops for Cancer is a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society, where cops and other members of the community have their heads shaved in support of those undergoing cancer treatment.

“Cancer touches all of us, and it is definitely a cause that is close to home for many members of our association, first responders and community,” explained James Giovanetti, President of the Orangeville Police Association. “It was definitely a worthwhile event for us to get involved in.”

The event was started in June 1994, when Sergeant Gary Goulet of the Edmonton Police Service met a young boy who was undergoing treatment for cancer. The boy was being bullied and made fun of at school because of the hair loss caused by his chemotherapy, and Sgt. Goulet felt something had to be done. He already had a shaved head, so he took a picture with the boy in the cruiser and gathered together other Edmonton officers who also shaved their heads and joined the boy in school to show kids that it was cool to be bald.

Their activities received so much media attention, as well as from the community, that moving forward seemed to be the right thing to do.

After they contacted the Canadian Cancer Society, the campaign grew to include neighbouring police forces, and eventually spread across the country.

“This is the first time that the Orangeville Police have participated in at least ten years,” explained Mr. Giovanetti. “We have some members of the community that are going to be getting involved and shaving their heads, as well as members from the Orangeville Fire Department, and we are hoping the EMS will as well.”

Because this is the first year Orangeville has been fully dedicated to the event, the OPS did not want to set their fundraising goals too high.

“It’s a learning phase for us and is something that is new,” he explained. “We’re hoping we are going to break the $10,000 mark. Considering it is our first event and we are a smaller service, we are hopeful, but we are excited with how it has turned out so far.”

By last Friday, they had already managed to bring in around $7000 worth of funds through both monetary donations and  donated products and services for a silent auction that will take place at the event. As of yesterday, the Orangeville team had beaten their goal, with a total of $10, 588 raised.

“We’re really aiming to bring together the Orangeville first responders as well as the community to support this great cause,” said Mr. Giovanetti. “About $50 million has been raised since the beginning for the Canadian Cancer Society, and we’re excited to be able to contribute towards increasing that amount.”

The Cops for Cancer fundraiser will take place Saturday, with registration starting at 1 p.m. and the shaves beginning at 2 p.m.. For more information, or to make a donation, you can visit their Facebook page at


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