Old Bridge Local 127 does some hair-raising to support fundraising for the fallen

Almost everyone remembers where they were at 8:46 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, and the feeling of shock and horror in the days that would follow.

But out of that tragedy came a story of incredible strength and a desire to help families of the fallen with the organization Tunnel to Towers.

The group works to help families of fallen officers and military members, especially wounded warriors. Whether it’s building a house for an amputee or paying off the mortgage on a fallen officer’s home, Tunnel to Towers is always there.

So, who helps the organization that’s always helping everyone else? Well, that would be Old Bridge Local 127.

“We always donate to many charities, mostly illness-related, but for once we wanted to basically give back to our own cause,” Local 127 President Vinny Galgano explains.

To give back, Local 127 held an extended No-Shave November. During the time when members were dressed in their winter uniforms (October 15 to May 15), they could donate $25 a month to keep their beards.

Ultimately, enough members participated that Local 127 was able to raise $10,000 for Tunnel to Towers.

On June 13, Local 127 was able to present the check to Tunnel to Towers Chairman Frank Siller at the department’s own 9/11 memorial monument.

“They were just overwhelmed that a police department in New Jersey went above and beyond and garnered so much donation money for them. They were super impressed,” Galgano recalls.

Beyond the freedom to have beards for six months, Galgano says the extra facial hair is the cherry on top of the cake if it means getting to help some of their own brothers and sisters in need.

“It’s easy for those who want beards to participate, and then when you put a really solid, worthy cause behind it, it just makes it that much better.”