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Jul-17-2006 23:11printcomments

Cops Get Clipped for Salem Girl and Doernbecher's (VIDEO)

Male and female officers that shed their locks hope the event raised over $11k and they hope that increases awareness when it comes to Doernbecher's Children's Hospital in Portland.

Getting buzzed for a good cause
All photos by: Tim King

(SALEM) - Marion County deputies have closed ranks and pulled together to help one of their own. A special "Crop a Cop" event was held to raise proceeds and awareness of Doernbecher’s Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon.

That is where little Maddie Melgard is being treated since being diagnosed with Leukemia. Maddie is the daughter of Chris Melgard, a sergeant with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

"She's doing well, all things considered. The type of leukemia she has means she will be undergoing chemotherapy for two-and-a-half-years and it is important that people understand what Doernbecher's is and what they do for children."

Chris says he wasn't the first to think of the idea; another deputy used the crop a cop idea successfully in the past. He says he's cool with plagiarizing the notion, "Anything that helps" he says.

It does help, and it was a total success if you base it on the attendance. In addition to the dozens of officers primarily from Marion County, members of the public at large mixed with families of deputies and plenty of kids. The entrance to the courthouse was jam packed and an estimated crowd of 120+ hooted and cheered as the hair removal experts shifted into high gear to handle those lined up to get buzzed.

Everyone I spoke with was quick to share their regard for Doernbecher's Children's Hospital. It might be spurred by Maddie's obvious popularity. She is a cool kid, and she handled the crowd and the excitement like it was no big deal at all. She said she was very excited about the turnout.

Don’t cops already have short hair?

But if you’re like me, you might be asking yourself right about now, Isn’t it part of the requirement? I mean, most of them have short hair and many have none.

Most, but not all have short hair. Taking on the G.I. Jane look, Tina Gushard who also works in law enforcement, says she thought she’d make a real statement, being shaved like a fresh recruit on Paris Island.

But she took a serious tone in spite of the fun and solidarity, “I can’t imagine this happening to my kids, I think everyone should do what they can to support people who are facing such challenges." You have my admiration Tina, and you had really nice hair. Her husband was next in line, and he was a good sport, cheering her on the whole time.

All worth it they say, for a little girl named Maddie who has a bumpy road ahead. One thing is certain if you talk to Lt. Doug Garrett with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, she won’t have to go it alone, “the support from the patrol division, jail division and parole and probation is strong and we all really care about Maddie, Chris and Doernbecher’s. They really do great things up there.”

Chris Melgard says his daughter is in good hands, but he wants people to understand that Doernbecher’s helps all children regardless of their illness or financial background. The best thing to do they say, is to contact Doernbecher’s and make a donation.

You’ll help Maddie and other children who need that help more than most of us realize.

And maybe, just maybe, you will in your own way, help to justify this offbeat fundraising method, that amounts to an unusual show of strength in Marion County’s law enforcement community.


Internal Comments are Closed on this story.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

The NAACP of the Willamette Valley