Lacey Police raising #NoShaveNovember funds for dispatcher battling cancer
As many police departments -- and many other groups and individuals do -- in November, they are putting down the razors and growing out facial hair or putting on fake mustaches to raise funds and awareness of any number of health concerns someone in the community is battling.
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The Lacey Township Police Department is one of the departments at the Jersey Shore taking part in #NoShaveNovember here in 2021 and this year the department has announced that they are raising funds for one of their own - Lacey Police dispatcher Kasmira "Kasey" Kanka who is battling stage 4 Melanoma Cancer.
Kanka, who has been with the department since 2015, has battled her way through some tough diagnoses and health concerns over the years after being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis when she was just 17-years old which led to multiple surgeries and being on a lot of medicine.
"As a direct result of this, Kasey ultimately developed Stage 4 Melanoma Cancer. From there, she received devastating news that the cancer had reached her lymph nodes, further requiring extensive surgery to remove it. This only worsened her previous medical diagnosis, essentially leaving Kasey with a decision of which battle she wished to fight. Kasey was quietly maintaining this battle while continuing her dispatching services to Lacey Township and our officers."
Inspired by her fight and dedication to the department and community, Lacey Police along with the Township's Emergency Services will be dedicating their 2021 NSN campaign to Kanka.
"Kasey is a pleasure to work with, and her contagious positivity during such a trying time is often noted. We are proud to call her a member of our Lacey Police/PBA Family, and continue to support her during her courageous battle. While your donation will directly benefit the No Shave November Campaign, Lacey Township PBA #238 will be matching our participating member’s personal donations for Kasey. We have also invited all of our volunteer organizations to join forces with the police department and PBA to participate in this local campaign."
Lacey Township Police said that "donations on behalf of the police officers and our local emergency services personnel should be made directly to No-Shave.org under the Lacey Township Challenge" at:
If you have any questions, you can contact Sergeant George Resetar at 609-693-6636 extension 2590 or Officer Michael Hutman at 609-693-6636 extension 2527.
Every November for the last several years, the Lacey Police Department along with the LT Emergency Services has raised more than $26,000 through their "No-Shave November" campaign for various individuals and charities including Prevent Cancer Foundation, Fight Colorectal Cancer, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as directed by the No-Shave November campaign and in 2020, "to the widely respected Chief John Szafranski III of the Lanoka Harbor Volunteer Fire Department, who sadly lost his courageous battle with Pancreatic Cancer."
"Chief Szafranski really was at the forefront as being not just a first responder but someone who has continually given back to Lacey Township for years," Lacey Police Chief Michael DiBella told Townsquare Media News in November 2020. "He was very heavily involved with the fire department and he was just a person you can just go and speak to, he was very caring, he always wanted to give back to the community and do what's right. He'll certainly be missed."
"I've known Chief Szafranski for about 30-years, I've grown up with his son and daughter and my children are friends with his grandchildren," Lacey Police Sergeant George Resetar told Townsquare Media News. "Chief Szafranski has always been like a Beacon for the town, he's very well respected, very well known, a very calm gentleman who was always able to open his eyes and ears and never passed judgement on anybody. He was very good at providing helpful and insightful information to make every one of us better at our jobs."
"He's been a mentor and friend to all of us here, we worked very closely with him," Lacey Police Officer Michael Hutman told Townsquare Media News. "We're a very strong and close knit family in this community. When one of our family members are experiencing something or hurting, we all feel that."