"It was a very nice event. Thanks for the support." -Detective Darrel Tully
He did it, just as he has for the past nine years. On Saturday, September 28, California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) Member and California Department of Insurance (DOI) Fraud Division Detective Darrel Tully lost his locks for a very good cause. He sat beside other law enforcement officers and first responders in the annual Shave The Brave fundraiser for the non-profit Wish Upon A Star Foundation in Visalia.
"Wish Upon a Star does a lot of good things for kids and this event included the kids as well," said Detective Tully. "It is a very nice venue for seeing the various agencies come together as a team, just like we do at work."
Tally Tully's participation in "Shave the Brave" and it equals a decade. For 10 years he has gone from barely there to bald to help raise money to grant wishes to children with high-risk and life-threatening illnesses.
He will spend the next six weeks sporting bare skin and enduring shiny scalp jokes. He knows the routine. By mid-November he will be need to use a comb again. That's about the time it takes for his hair to return to a comb-able length.
"If these kids can go through treatment and lose their hair, what little hair I have left, I can lose, too," Tully said.
But it is not just being "brave" enough to sit beneath a razor ready to sheer away what "little" Tully has left, every year, Tully circulates the office collecting donations. Only with a pledge sheet, can he participate in the event.
Last month, Wish Upon A Star Executive Director Carmen Perez told CSLEA, granting wishes for children who are severely ill can make a difference in their treatment. "It really does boost their spirits," she said. "Right now we have one family, we just learned things are not looking well, their six year old wanted to go to Disney World but has become too sick. We created a family memory, a shopping experience. The father of the child is in law enforcement."
Wish Upon A Star has granted more than 1900 wishes in its 30 plus years of service. Its services are available to children within the state of California, ages 3 through 18, with much of the focus from Madera to Bakersfield.
Perez applauds the law enforcement community for its bravery, commitment to community and competitive spirit. "One year, we had a Tulare County Sheriff show up to support his department and someone challenged him to shave his mustache for a $500 donation." The mustache of many years came off. Perez recalls a Fresno police chief who shaved his head and never went back to growing it out.
DOI Detective Tully is okay with his hair growing back. In fact, his own secret wish, maybe more will grow in than was shaved off.
"Ten years of helping to make dreams come true, of helping families, of helping children who are ill, that speaks to Detective Tully's caring commitment to his community and to humankind," said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. "I am extremely proud of his involvement and his message to children undergoing treatment, that they are in fact, the courageous ones."