LSU fraternity raises $50,000 to pay off mortgage of former cook
BATON ROUGE - A group of LSU fraternity brothers teamed up to pay off the mortgage of a former cook who had a special impact on their lives, for her 74th birthday on Saturday.
Even 30 years later, many members of Phi Gamma Delta, also known as Fiji, recall Jessie Hamilton having a positive impact on their college experience. Hamilton worked as a kitchen staff member at the fraternity house for 14 years, according to The Advocate.
Working since the age of 16, Hamilton was finally able to purchase a home at the age of 60, taking out a 30-year mortgage. Her plan was to continue to work until her mortgage was paid off, until Andrew Fusaiotti, who attended LSU from 1987 to 1989, called to check on her at the start of the pandemic.
When Fusaiotti learned Hamilton was still working two jobs at the age of 73, he decided to regroup with his fraternity brothers to raise money. He and 90 others ended up raising a total of $51,765 to pay off the remaining 16 years of Hamilton's mortgage.
“That shows how they all felt about her,” Fusaiotti said. “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.”
Over a dozen brothers came together to surprise Hamilton for her birthday, some traveling across state lines with their families, for what they called "Jessie Hamilton Day."
In a modified version of the game Let's Make a Deal, they presented her with two checks: $45,000 for her remaining mortgage payment, $6,675 for herself, and t-shirts, koozies and catered food for her party.
Thanks to the generous donation, Hamilton is now able to retire from her two jobs.
"This has been a blessing to me," 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."
“Andrew answered my prayers. He’s my guardian angel,” she told The Advocate.
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