Jun. 14—METHUEN — With his wife Robin battling cancer for the past six months, Police Sgt. Derek Licata raised $5,100 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in last month's Drop It Challenge.
His herculean effort represents the event's highest individual total.
Throughout the month of May, participating officers received donations from friends and family for every pound they lost.
"I definitely did not expect to raise that much money," said Licata, adding that he lost four pounds. "My personal goal was $3,000, but once I hit that mark, I decided to go for $5,000."
Lt. Andrea Fogarty of the Haverhill Police Department had the second-highest individual total with $3,250.
With Licata leading the way, the Methuen Police Department team raised $7,450. From the 41 teams that competed, Methuen had the third-highest fundraising total.
"This is a deeply personal issue for me and I want to thank all of the friends, family members and those from our community who donated in support of Dana-Farber's work," said Licata. "I've seen firsthand how important Dana-Farber is in the lives of those battling cancer. It was an honor to give back to their life-saving efforts."
Other members of the Methuen team included Sgt. Kevin Dzioba, Officer Gina Scanlon, Parking Control Officer Jeffrey Rubino, Dispatcher Yohanna Almengo and Human Resources staff member Jill Stackelin.
"Our team did an amazing job on the campaign," said Licata. "I am incredibly grateful for their support and for the generosity of everyone who donated to our team."
Chief Scott McNamara said he and his officers will continue to stand behind Licata and his family.
"We're all keeping Sgt. Licata's family in our thoughts and I'm extremely proud of him and his commitment to ensuring Dana-Farber can continue its critical work to save lives," he said. "This was a great way for our members to raise money for a great cause while taking charge of improving their own health. I'm grateful to everyone who participated and donated."
The event itself raised a total of $67,226. In addition to Methuen, some of the other participating police departments included Winthrop, Wayland, Chelsea and Barnstable.