The staff of the Saddleback College Police Department provided the highlight of the health fair on Wednesday by giving students and faculty a chance to show off their arms and get their favorite on-campus police officers soaking wet for charity at the Dunk-a-Cop booth.
The Police Department teamed up with the Pink Patch Project, a collaborative effort between several public safety agencies throughout the nation, to bring attention to the fight against breast cancer and support breast cancer research, treatment and care for those who are currently battling or recovering from cancer.
The volunteers from the department sold pink patches, which the officers will also be wearing on their uniforms throughout the month of October, for $10 each and pink bracelets for $2 a piece.
Participants were also able to donate money in order to have an opportunity to take some throws and try their luck hitting the target as the officers took half hour shifts sitting in the dunk tank.
Saddleback student David Perez was able to hit the most bullseyes during the day, which provided a good sized charitable contribution to the cause as well as some much needed stress relief for himself.
“I felt kind of good,” Perez said. “I had a lot of stress building up, but after hitting him in, I felt great.”
Ryan Maligie was one of the police officers in charge of organizing the Dunk-a-Cop festivities. Maligie’s family has had their own experience dealing with breast cancer in the past.
“My mother-in-law had breast cancer years ago and it was a tough struggle for her and her family,” he said. “I figured this is a great cause, so let’s put all guns into it and see if we can get off the ground.”
The department chose the Susan G. Komen Foundation as the recipient of the money raised for the Pink Patch Project and arranged to have the dunk tank donated for the event.
“How can we, as a small place, come up with a way to raise the most money, have the most fun, and kind of bring everybody together?” Maligie said. “So, this is what we came up with.”
The event surpassed the Police Department’s $500 goal within the first two hours, which meant that even police Chief Patrick Higa, based on a previous arrangement with his staff, had to take a turn in the dunk tank.
“This was a great opportunity to let everyone know that, hey, we’ll do whatever it takes to help,” Higa said. “If that means getting wet on a cold day, that’s what we’ll do.”
The Dunk-a-Cop event ended up raising over $800 for breast cancer awareness and research.
The Saddleback College Police Department is located near the “Village” classrooms in Lot 2 off of Lower Campus Drive. Campus Police can be contacted at anytime by calling (949) 582-4585 or at ext. 4585.