Our readers speak: Fund raising for Stephen Benbow

15 July 2012

To the Editor:

It isn’t often that a high school student from the St. John Valley gets an opportunity to participate in a National Youth Forum in Washington D.C.

Stephen in Scout Uniform

STEPHEN BENBOW - Contributed image

Stephen Benbow of Frenchville has been nominated and registered to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum on National Security (NYLF/NS) this fall in Washington, D.C. Fundraising efforts are underway to help him achieve this goal.

Stephen, a junior this fall at Wisdom Middle/High School, is on the honor roll, is Senior Patrol Leader for the Madawaska Scout Troop 190, attends church at St Johns/St Paul’s in Edmundston, and is a lifelong volunteer for many causes.

Stephen has always had a love of service, both military and otherwise, since he could understand the meaning of it. Following in the footsteps of his late great-grandfather, Spencer O’Neal, Stephen hopes to serve his country by joining the Navy when he is of age.

To help Stephen determine if this aspiration is the right path to follow, the NYLF/NS will explore areas of American Diplomacy, Intelligence and Defense.

Stephen, with a loan from his great-grandmother, has already registered for this forum. Now he must raise the necessary funds to repay his grandmother and make the payments for the tuition of the forum. Stephen must also raise the necessary funds for his travel expenses and any incidentals.

Stephen's Flag and pole

Stephen's Flag and pole - Contributed image

With a total need for more than $2500, Stephen is reaching out to the community for support.  Donation jars have been placed at various businesses. As of July 1, jars may be found at Our Father’s Place, H+S Garage, Madawaska Pharmacy, The Martin Acadian Homestead, Miller’s, and the Fiddlehead Focus. Donations can also be made at Norstate Federal Credit Union in Madawaska to:  Stephen’s Club for DC Trip. For more information or fund raising ideas, contact Lisa Schroeder (Stephen’s mom) at 543-1126 or check out the NYLF website at http://www.nylf.org/ns/

Stephen and his family hope people of the St. JohnValleywill see him as a future leader for Maine and the United States and show their support for this unique opportunity.

Sincerely, Lisa Schroeder