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Members of university fraternity pay off former cook’s mortgage

Members of a Louisiana State University fraternity have chipped in more than 50,000 US dollars to pay off the mortgage of a woman who fed them when they were students.

bout a dozen members of Phi Gamma Delta surprised Jessie Hamilton with the money for her 74th birthday on April 3 in Baker, Louisiana, The Advocate reported.

Roughly 90 fraternity members raised 51,765 dollars (£37,600), with each brother donating between 600 dollars (£435) and 1,000 dollars (£725) on average, the newspaper said.

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“That shows how they all felt about her,” said Andrew Fusaiotti, who was a member of the fraternity in the late 1980s.

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Andrew Fusaiotti, left, turns around to show Jessie Hamilton, seated, the back of his shirt as Ms Hamilton’s daughter, Yonetta Tircuit, right, points as LSU FIJI graduates gather to surprise their former house kitchen staff member to pay off her mortgage and celebrate Jessie Hamilton Day in Baker, Louisiana (Hilary Scheinuk/The Advocate via AP)

“Jessie is one of these people that shows up to work and always has a smile on her face, eager to please and never complains.”

Ms Hamilton worked for 14 years as a cook for the fraternity, but Mr Fusaiotti also recalled her helping students with rides to the grocery store and doctor when he was on campus.

Another member, Will Rainey, said the fraternity brothers formed a special bond with Ms Hamilton.

At the start of the pandemic, Mr Fusaiotti called to check on her.

She was still working two jobs to pay a 30-year mortgage for the home she bought at the age of 60.

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Jessie Hamilton, seated, reacts as she is presented with a cheque to pay off her mortgage as LSU FIJI graduates gather to surprise their former house kitchen staff member and celebrate Jessie Hamilton Day in Baker, Louisiana (Hilary Scheinuk/The Advocate via AP)

Her plan was to continue working until the home was paid off.

Now, she has plans to retire and visit Hawaii.

“This has been a blessing to me,” Ms Hamilton said.

“I have been worrying about how I was going to pay my house off. I am grateful for what God has done and has led them to do for me.”

PA Media

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