The La Vista Police Department is selling pink patches to raise awareness for cancer as part of the Pink Patch Project.
Police Chief Bob Lausten says a friend from a California police department told him about the project, which inspired him to pitch the idea to sell and wear the pink patches in October to his department.
“We've had family members of our personnel here who have been affected by cancer - we've had law enforcement officers in our county, both active and retired that have died from cancer,” says Lausten. “So I think this is a great way to show support outside of what we do to serve and protect- we also educate and support.”
LVPD will be the first department in the state to wear the badges.
“What we hope to do by rolling it out in Nebraska is that other agencies see what they’re doing on the West coast and now here, and hopefully pick up what we’re doing and hopefully take it across the state,” says Lausten.
The badges will be sold for $10 each. All proceeds will be donated to the Scare Away Cancer foundation, a local nonprofit started by MCL Construction to support cancer patients and their families in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa.
Lausten says the decision to choose Scare Away Cancer as the recipient was personal.
“Joe Hebenstreit works for the construction company and is very involved with the organization. He’s a dear family friend and his wife Kayla died of cancer shortly after giving birth to their daughter,” says Lausten. “So we’re doing this with her in mind.”
Joe Hebenstreit, who sits on the board of the foundation, says “Bob Lausten is a good family friend and helped a lot with fundraising when my wife first died and the organization. So it’s unbelievable what he’s doing now. As someone who went through it, you need all the help you can get. And the more involved the community can be, the more uplifting it is for you as you’re trying to beat this terrible disease.”
Hebenstreit says the nonprofit is run by volunteers, so 100% of the funds will go towards helping families.
“Whether that means paying for someone’s rent, or help them fix their car, or give them gas cards so they can drive back and forth to the hospital – just anything that can help alleviate the burden, we try and help,” says Hebenstreit.
The department ordered 500 patches to sell.
Patches can be purchased at the front desk of the La Vista Police Department.