Sandy Police Auxiliary fundraiser benefits one of their own
Henry Metcalf survived for 75 days after being born. (Sandy Police Auxiliary)
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By Kelly Cannon | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandy residents may have noticed the members of the Sandy Police Department look a bit scruffier during the month of November. The Sandy Police Auxiliary’s annual No Shave November fundraiser helped raise funds to help the family of Officer Ryan Metcalf.
Metcalf’s son, Henry, passed away on Sept. 18, just 75 days after being born with trisomy 18 — or Edwards syndrome — along with biliary atrisia, pyloric stenosis, holes in his heart and weak lungs. His stay at Primary Children’s Hospital has left the family with medical expenses.
“It’s kind of mixed feelings. Now that Henry’s passed, we’re moving into an area where we feel that things are getting back to normal. It’s kind of humbling. We’ve gotten a lot of support through the whole thing from Sandy City, individuals, our neighborhood,” Metcalf said. “Everybody has been really supportive from day one with Henry and the conditions he had, the whole ordeal of him passing away. It’s been kind of overwhelming at times but it’s been great support overall.”
The Sandy Police Auxiliary has done a No Shave November fundraiser for the past four years. According to Dlayne Swensen, the president of the auxiliary, this is the first year the public was also invited to donate to the cause.
“I don’t think people understand why all the police officers look really shaggy when historically that’s not something that’s been allowed,” Swensen said. “In the past, they’ve given to different charitable organizations that they hear about. This year it will actually benefit the police officers themselves so it’s a little bit different.”
The way the fundraiser works is police officers pay to grow a beard. If they started before Nov. 1, they had to buy a $10 beard card. Afterward, they had to pay $30 to keep the beard.
“The way the female officers get involved is they buy ‘shave cards,’” Swensen said. “If they buy a shave card, they can give it to the officers and they have to either shave and start over or buy another card to get back in the game.”
In years past, the auxiliary has donated the money to different charities, including children’s cancer support groups. Often thousands of dollars are raised.
“It’s very humbling to have people who want to donate and want to participate,” Metcalf said. “It’s a blessing to have the support of the auxiliary and the department. We’re grateful and appreciative for whatever happens.”
Swensen said she believes the focus has shifted from donating to a charity to donating to one of their own officers because it was such an intense situation for the department.
“It was a pretty big medical situation. Obviously, he passed away, but he had been at Primary Children’s for a while and that makes the bills astronomical,” Swensen said. “Sandy City is really supportive and does a lot for the police department and the officers themselves. Sometimes it takes a little bit more. Sometimes there aren’t always funds readily available.”
Aside from the No Shave November, the Sandy Police Auxiliary provides other support efforts as a nonprofit associated with Sandy City.
“Our goal is to support the families and create those avenues of connection within the community,” Swensen said. “We do a couple fundraisers. We provide different ways for community members to donate. Sometimes it’s not clear how to provide police officers with appreciation.”
To donate to the Metcalf fund or to learn more about the Sandy Police Auxiliary, visit www.sandypoliceauxiliary.com.