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Hollis police supporting cancer patients

By GRACE PECCI - Staff Writer | Oct 25, 2019

Telegraph photo by GRACE PECCI From left, Hollis Police Chief Joseph Hoebeke and Capt. Brendan LaFlamme show off the pink patches the department is selling to raise funds for chemotherapy care packages, a project started last year by Brookline resident and cancer survivor Lauren Caulfield. The patches are on sale through Nov. 11, or until they are sold out.

HOLLIS – Following the “it takes a village” mentality, the Hollis Police Department began selling pink police patches this week to benefit New Hampshire and Massachusetts cancer patients.

All funds raised by the Hollis Police Department will go toward the chemo care packages that are being organized by PINK Revolution Breast Cancer Alliance affiliate and Brookline resident Lauren Caulfield.

Caulfield was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2017 and completed 12 months of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation. While in chemotherapy, Caulfield often saw cancer patients who were either going to chemotherapy alone, skipping sessions because they didn’t have transportation or couldn’t afford it.

Caulfield wanted to make chemotherapy a better experience for cancer patients, which led her to start a chemo care packaging event last year to benefit cancer patients in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

The Hollis Police Department and various other groups across the state are helping with Caulfield’s project, which she told The Telegraph speaks to the event’s tagline: Cancer brings people together.

Hollis Police Chief Joseph Hoebeke said his department’s involvement speaks to the commitment to community.

“We as a police agency are committed to not only protecting our community, but also giving back,” Hoebeke said. “We’re extremely fortunate to work in a community that supports public service. When people come to us with these types of programs that do a lot of good, it truly sits with our mission and values.”

This is the first time Hollis officers will sell the pink patches. They are $10 each.

Police departments across the country have been participating in the Pink Patch Program since 2015, when the Irwindale Police Department in California sold patches and raised over $20,000 for City of Hope, a cancer treatment and research center in Southern California.

Since then, hundreds of departments, including fire, sheriff, emergency medical services and federal officials have joined.

“We only have 100 patches, but they have been selling pretty quickly. We hope to sell all 100 in order to maximize the proceeds for the chemo care packages,” Hoebeke said.

Hoebeke said within two days, 70 out of the 100 patches available have already been sold. Sales will continue until Nov. 11, or when all the patches have been sold.

Those who are interested in purchasing a pink police patch may contact administrative assistant Karen Lawton at 603-465-7637, or klawton@hollisnh.org.

The department will also be selling the remaining pink patches at their Drug Take Back Day/Coffee with a Cop /Shred Day/ Food Drive event, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Hollis Police Department, 9 Silverlake Road.

For next year, the plan is to have the pink patches well in advance so officers can swap out their regular patches for pink ones to wear for the month of October, Hoebeke said.

As for the chemo care packages, Caulfield’s goal is to collect more than 17,000 products and create 1,300 chemo care packages. She also is looking to collect 500 radiation creams for radiation patients, as well as $3,000 to go toward gasoline gift cards. Caulfield will be distributing the chemo care packages to 25 centers across New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Caulfield is in need of money and product donations to create the chemo care packages and purchase gas gift cards.

The estimated cost of one chemo care package is $10. Every care package will include the following products: an activity item (such as adult coloring books and pencils; journal to jot down thoughts, crossword puzzle and word find books), health and beauty aids (tissues, hand sanitizer, throat lozenges, hard candy/peppermints for dry mouth, eye masks, hand lotion, eye masks, warm fuzzy socks, peppermint teas), a handmade chemo hat, a fleece throw blanket and a handmade card with a hand-written message from community members and students.

Products needed include eye masks, men’s fleece socks, women’s fleece socks, fleece throws, lotion, hand sanitizer, adult coloring books, word search and crossword puzzle books, playing cards, journals, and colored pencils.

These products can be taken to Hollis Pharmacy and Buckley’s Cafe and Bakery in Hollis, or at Kelci’s Hair Salon in Brookline. Amazon and gasoline gift cards can be mailed or dropped off to Ronda Chrystal at 14 Ben Farnsworth Road, Brookline.

More information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/442565639842633.

Grace Pecci may be reached at 594-1243, or gpecci@nashuatelegraph.com.


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