A warm and fuzzy fundraiser
Members of the Palatine Police Department are breaking their own rules this season … but for a very good reason.
About 50 officers are growing beards and bucking department regulations that require them to be clean-shaven, all as part of the Palatine Police Department’s Mark Dahlem Memorial No-Shave November Fundraiser. In order to participate, each officer made a donation in honor of Officer Mark Dahlem, who died early this year from cancer. Funds raised will benefit JourneyCare, which cared for Mark and his family once he chose hospice.
“This idea came about because we were so impressed with the compassion that JourneyCare showed not only to Mark, but also his family and to us,” said Commander David Weeks “It was out of this world.”
Officer Dahlem was a 46-year-old husband and father of two, as well as a veteran of the Palatine Police Department for more than 20 years, when he was diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer in 2017. After pursing treatments that were unable to stop the cancer from advancing, Officer Dahlem and his wife, Kim, decided it was time for hospice and chose JourneyCare in early 2019.
“It was an absolute no brainer,” Kim told Life Matters Media this spring. “God was in his heart and this was the place he knew he could get the care he needed to be able to move through his final stage.”
While at JourneyCare’s Pepper Family Hospice CareCenter in Barrington, his law enforcement colleagues honored him with a retirement ceremony. Officer Dahlem died two days later.
Today, as his fellow officers continue to honor him with their No-Shave November Fundraiser, Commander Weeks said it is moving to see how many colleagues are giving back.
“I have been here since 1993 and I have never seen anything like this,” he said. “You walk through the station and see all these guys with beards. You definitely know something special is going on.”
Commander Weeks says he hopes the fundraiser will become an annual tradition to support JourneyCare and to bring a little mischief to the department.
“It has really been a lot of fun,” he said. “But the most important things is that this is for a good cause.”
If you would like to give in honor of the Palatine Police Department’s Mark Dahlem Memorial No-Shave November Fundraiser, please visit journeycare.org/donate.