Unsung Hero: Carbondale Police Tackle No Shave November


By Ashley Smith
By Josue

CARBONDALE -- The Carbondale Police Department is using facial hair to support one of their own. "No Shave November" is a way for the department to raise money for a coworker battling breast cancer.

"When it hits one person, it hits us all kind of hard," said Carbondale Police Officer Rebecca Mooney.

When Penny Guetersloh was diagnosed with breast cancer in October, she leaned on her family for support after hearing the tough news.

"It was traumatic," remembers Penny. "And they have been like the sunshine."

Penny's husband and two daughters have a great support system during this tough time. But they're just three of the nearly 100 people Penny calls family.

"It hits home when it's somebody that you've known for so many years and that you've worked with, we are like a big family," said Rebecca.

"We sometimes spend more time here than we do with our own families at home," explained Sgt. Amber Ronketto.

Penny works in records at the Carbondale Police Department. She was touched when her coworkers began several fundraising opportunities. But when a couple of the officers suggested growing facial hair for "No Shave November", she was both excited and surprised!

"There's a sense of wanting to help, especially one of our own," said Sgt. Corey Kemp. "And the camaraderie of, 'Hey look at your beard! Oh look at yours!' and who's growing the better one and the not so good one."

"You just want to go up to them and rub their cheeks and yell, 'Yes! Let it grow!'" said Penny.

Those participating could donate money to either grow facial hair or to continue shaving. Even the women are participating through judging the beards and wearing support bracelets.

"It's brought us all close in the last month or so, and it's just a good feeling that we could help her out so much," said Rebecca.

Penny is remaining positive thanks to an abundance of love and support always surrounding her.

"I face those days that come with a smile and strength from all that I've received here and at home," said Penny.

Even the SIU Police are getting in on the "No Shave November" event.

You can support Penny by joining the "Team Penny" facebook page here.

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