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A local woman who requested, and received, help from St. Lawrence students has expressed her thanks publicly, through a "Letter to the Editor" that has been published in several area newspapers.

The letter, from Rosemarie Edward of DeKalb Junction, tells the story:

Dear Editor:

I must take this time to recognize Ben Rogers '06 and 15 other young men from Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternity of St. Lawrence University who helped our community with a vacant lot clean-up adjacent to the Edward Homeschool. What these men did, besides remove 16 tires, over 600 pounds of weighed debris and a substantial amount of metal which did not get weighed, is restore my faith in our country’s college youth.

Due to a disabling condition, I was unable to clear the lot myself. After 16 years of trying, I made little more than a dent. I thought that there would be no way to get anyone to help with this daunting task. Young children were using this lot in which to play. So many pockets of debris regularly filling with rainwater made ideal mosquito breeding ground. Nothing less than a serious injury or severe case of West Nile Virus, I surmised, would have brought the situation to the public eye . . . and I dreaded that ever happening.

These young men were an answer to many prayers. They were polite, sincere and u nassuming. Expecting maybe five men, I was stunned to see 16 show up. They made quick work of a huge mess. One young man was cut by glass but he never once complained. When the remaining items were frozen to the ground, another young man refused to give up. He kept hacking at the last tire with an ax until the tire came free. His fellows cheered him on with unwavering support. Ben Rogers was a true leader without being a taskmaster and the men responded to him well. These young men were consumed by nothing less than genuine concern for the welfare of others. I for one will never look upon a college student the same way again.

This letter serves as a mere token of my appreciation and respect for Ben Rogers and his fraternity brothers. The children who play in the lot will be much safer as will the entire neighborhood due to your fine work.

Well done Gentlemen and Thank You!

Sincerely,

Rosemarie Edward
Edward Family Homeschool

Posted: April 29, 2004