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Fairfield police officers paid to grow beards, and school district families will benefit

FAIRFIELD, Ohio — The Fairfield Police Department was one of the earliest supporters of a charity that serves needy families in the city’s school district, and that partnership led to its latest recent donation.

Ted McDaniel, founder of Dougie and Ray’s, a charity named for two of his mentors, supports children and families within the Fairfield School District, according to the

Journal-News

.

“It’s a relationship I want to keep for the rest of Dougie and Ray’s,” said McDaniel, a 1998 Fairfield High School graduate. “They’re a part of Fairfield, we’re a part of Fairfield, and we’re really all out there to help, and that’s what we’re showing by having them help with us.”

The latest effort between the two was for no-shave November, which the police department extended until the end of January. Officers paid $75 for the right to grow a beard and keep it until the end of this month. All donations went to Dougie and Ray’s.

The officers raised nearly $2,500, and FOP Lodge 166 matched that total, giving Dougie and Ray’s a total of $4,950.

The city’s police officers will continue to stand behind the organization, said FOP member Sgt. Mike Woodall, an 18-year Fairfield police veteran.

“It can only get better, and we’re hoping it does,” he said. “Ted McDaniel has brought on this project, and we’re hoping to see it grow and continue to get bigger.”

Dougie and Ray’s was formed just a few years ago by McDaniel as an effort to help struggling families in the school district and combat bullying. The charity has a backpack and shoe donation program, pays off lunch accounts and buys Christmas gifts for needy families.

“To have them being a part of this and making the community better alongside us, it’s great,” McDaniel said.

Fairfield police Officer and FOP Lodge 166 vice president Andy Hoelle said officers and the union are behind Dougie and Ray’s, and have been behind them from the start.

“I think that’s a really good thing to continue,” Hoelle said. “It’s a model.”

Woodall said he could see McDaniel’s model expand, and not just locally.

“It can go well beyond the city of Fairfield,” he said. “It’s something that could go national.”

Fairfield City Schools’ enrollment includes 43 percent of students who come from families poor enough to qualify for the federally funded free and reduced meal program.

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