PEPPERELL (CBS) — Pepperell Police will be raising money and remaining clean-shaven to support a new member of their extended family. The goal is to “stay baby faced for baby Reece this November.”

Reece Zink is the newborn son of Officer Justin Zink. He was born with the rare genetic mutation STXBP1 Encephalopathy which causes complications like seizures, developmental delays, ataxia, and more.

Traditionally, the department grows out beards in November to raise money for charity. The switch up this year will raise awareness for Reece’s cause and fundraising efforts will be focused on his family.

Remaining beardless will also help keep officers safe during the coronavirus pandemic as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has indicated beards can prevent n95 masks from creating a strong seal around faces.

Pepperell Police are raising money for Reece Zink. (Photo credit: Pepperell Police)

Zink joined the department in 2018 after several years as a dispatcher and medical technician in Pepperell. Two days after Reece’s birth, Zink was named Officer of the Year.

“Officer Zink has made tremendous contributions to our community and our department,” said Police Chief David Scott in a statement, “and I know that he and his family are tremendously appreciative of the amazing outpouring of love and support from the Pepperell community.”

As of Friday, a GoFundMe for the family has raised $40,000 of its $100,000 goal.

Pepperell C&S Pizza will also donate 10% of its proceeds from sales on Oct. 29 to the Zink family.

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