Western University Students Destroy Broughdale Grandma’s Garden; Students Rally Together to Repair Garden

Western University students are coming together to help Bess, also known as the Broughdale Grandma, whose garden was destroyed by fake homecoming participants this past Saturday.

Bess, whose last name has been omitted for privacy concerns, has been living on Broughdale since the 1960s. Although Bess has witnessed many homecomings, for the first time this past weekend, students that were on her yard trampled the flowers in her garden.

“London residents should be able to live wherever they want without fear of their property being damaged,” said Maya Bielecki, Broughdale resident and third year, Computer Science student at Western University.

Bielecki heard of the garden being destroyed while reading a Facebook article written by an individual who attends church with Bess, who told the story at her church this past Sunday.

Bielecki realized who the article was referring to and decided to confront the situation.

“I walked over, knocked on her door, introduced myself, then suggested to her that we could rebuild her garden,” said Bielecki.

Bielecki started a gofundme page in hopes of providing Bess with new flowers for her garden, including a fence to protect her flowers in the future.

“I launched this initiative because I felt awful about what happened to her, especially since the garden was planted by her late husband,” said Bielecki.

Photo provided by the gofundme page for Bess’ Garden

Bielecki continues, “Whoever destroyed Bess’ garden gave Western students a bad rep, and I saw this reflected in how people were discussing last Saturday’s events in the comments section of the Facebook article.”

Bielecki wants to show the London community that the actions of the few students who trampled Bess’ garden do not represent Western University students as a whole.

With an original donation goal of $400 on the gofundme page, Bielecki is pleased to see students coming together to help Bess.

“I think the student body really proved themselves today - everyone was rushing to help, and we met our goal within 3 hours of opening the gofundme,” said Bielecki.

A total of $940 has currently been donated in an effort to help the Broughdale Grandma. The page closed this morning, but has since been reopened after Bielecki assessed the damage done to both Bess’ front and back yard.

“We were just doing the front yard at first, but it looks like the backyard has to be done too!” said Bielecki.

The donation goal has now been updated and raised to $2,500.

Several students have volunteered to join Bielecki on October 5 to replant Bess’ garden. Anyone is welcome to donate to the gofundme page.

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