Dale McDorman thinks a little pink looks just right with his Beaufort Police Department uniform.
But if his pink hair extension strikes you as odd, ask him about it. That question -- and the attention it brings -- is why the deputy police chief will wear it proudly this month, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, his cousin who successfully battled the disease and his aunt, who died from it.
"If you noticed it and you said something about it, then obviously it's on your mind," he said.
His goal is to raise awareness, because preventative checkups and early detection can mean the difference between life and death.
McDorman's cousin, Rebecca Bogden of Warren, Mich., was diagnosed two years ago and finished treatments about a year and a half ago. His aunt, Linda Edwards, died in the 1990s.
"I was really honored that he would even do something like that and even think of me," Bogden said. "What they say is true: Sometimes the worst things in life tend to bring out some of the best things in people."
McDorman also is raising money for the local chapter of the American Cancer Society through donations and pledges of $1 or more for each day he keeps the extension in during October. Butler Auto Group and general manager Tim Stewart have pledged to give $50 every day, McDorman said.
He's calling it Making Everyone Notice, or MEN for short, which Stewart came up with. The idea started last October when McDorman was coaching youth bowling and people were talking about how professional athletes were wearing pink accessories and men were dying their beards pink. McDorman off-handedly said he'd wear a pink extension if people would donate $1 a day.
Fast forward to Friday, when McDorman settled into a salon chair at Charles and Co. in Beaufort. With three fellow police officers there to tease him, the stylist worked a bright pink hair extension into his brown curls.
One of those present, Patrol Officer Bethany Kattenhorn, was inspired when she heard about McDorman and got permission from police Chief Matthew Clancy for officers to wear breast cancer ribbon pins on their uniforms. Her aunt is a breast cancer survivor and her godmother is undergoing treatment.
"I just think it's amazing, especially for a man who is second-in-command, to step up and fight a battle females fight every day," Kattenhorn said.
Wearing his own breast cancer pin on his lapel Friday, Clancy said he's proud to have officers standing up for a cause they believe in.
"It's a pretty easy thing to do and it doesn't take any money and it doesn't take any time and it's such a serious issue," he said. "If we can help get the word out, why not?"
McDorman is working this month with Nancy Wellard, director of the South Atlantic Division of the American Cancer Society. All the money raised for MEN will go toward breast-cancer research or programs.
"I deal with volunteers in all walks of life and every once in a while you run into someone who really gets it, they have a story to tell and they really want to make a difference," she said. "He's one of those guys."
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/EyeOnBeaufort.