FARMINGTON, New Hampshire (NEWS CENTER) -- As October brings cooler weather to New England, things are just starting to heat up here in Red Sox Nation as our local nine are back in the hunt for another World Series trophy.
While the past couple of years have been difficult for die-hard fans, with the beer and chicken fueled collapse of 2011 and the Bobby Valentine fiasco that was last year fresh in fans' minds, this years' team is different. Some would say luck has had a lot to do with it, luck derived from facial hair of all lengths and manner of upkeep, now 'Beard Nation' is growing outside of the friendly confines of Fenway Park bringing communities closer together while helping those in need.
Officers with the Farmington Police Department normally are not allowed to grow more than a simple mustache, but to show their support, and raise money for the Community Action Partnership of Stafford County's food pantry, the department's officers are letting their hair down.
"The whole idea of 'Beard Nation' came about, and it brought me back to the whole attitude that they had in 2003-2004," explained Chief Kevin Willey.
"We normally don't get to grow facial hair, it is normally prohibited by policy," he added. "I think that this Red Sox team is a great reflection of your common New Englander. They seem to be blue collar, hard-working, you know they may grow the occasional beard so they may look a little scruffy, but deep down they are hard-working, good people."
So a dozen of the department's fourteen officers have stopped shaving (the other two have personal reasons not to grow their beards - one has military commitments to fulfill and the other is, as the chief puts it, follically challenged!) and the entire department is raising money to help those in need.
"It was a way of us not only of showing our support for the Red Sox, but I was also able to take it and turn it into a worth while fundraiser for a local non-profit organization that benefits the community," said Willey.
"The need is high. It has increased tremendously," stated Teresa Magoon, an outreach specialist with the Community Action Partnership of Strafford County. "It goes a long ways when our shelves are bare at this point."
The pantry and police officers are hoping others will join in the fun by making food or cash donations to the food pantry at a time when they have traditionally struggled to help folks before the holidays.
Magoon says people can stop by either their Farmington or Dover locations to drop off non-perishable food items, or can visit their website for more information on how to help out.