Man helped with $3K water bill

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) - November 26, 2008

As of Tuesday, a drive to help Norman Beckman had raised $4,027 in one week. Organizers stopped accepting the contributions that were still coming in.

"The donations ranged from $5 to $500," said Bryan Kassube, who started the drive. "I'm just floored we reached our goal in one week."

The bill was for the period from Jan. 1 to March 31.

At the time, Beckman was not able to live in his home. In his absence, water pipes froze, causing three leaks that sent 44,700 cubic feet of water through the meter. No damage to the house was reported.

Kassube said he was mailing a check for $3,006 to the city water utility to cover the bill, plus interest on the unpaid balance.

The rest goes to Beckman, who plans to give it to the Salvation Army.

Beckman said he felt humbled by the response to his problem.

"It tells me there are many ways we can be proud of this community," he said.

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