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Sun., Aug. 30
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Norwood Park adding memorial bench in honor of Waite


NORWOOD - Two days after a dirt bike accident that resulted in the death of Devin M. Waite, Norfolk, family and friends of the 24-year-old began planning how to honor his life.

The incident occurred in October and now, thanks to a large amount of community support, a memorial bench will be placed in the Norwood Municipal Park at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

“Devin’s friends wanted a memorial bench placed in the Norwood Park, where he and his friends spent much of their teenage years, and thanks to the generous support of the community the bench has become a reality,” family friend Terri Clemmo said. “He was such a great kid, really an amazing guy. He never spoke an ill word of anyone.”

Mr. Waite passed away on a Thursday, and Ms. Clemmo said that a couple of days later still grieving family and friends joined together to begin brainstorming how they could make Devin’s memory last forever.

The family friend used some creative thinking to enable those who wanted to send a message to their fallen friend.

“I said, ‘Let’s all go to the park on Saturday,’ and I went out and got some luminary bags of sand, Sharpies and there were a lot of people that turned out that day,” she said. “Everybody got together and it was very nice. I told his friends to take the luminary bags with them afterwards and they did. I got to meet a lot more of Devin’s family. We decided, ‘We should do a bench here.’”

Over the past seven months, various efforts have been made in an effort to make the bench a reality. Donation jars have been scattered throughout the town and t-shirts have been created for sale.

Ms. Clemmo’s daughter, Hannah, came up with the idea to create and sell t-shirts.

Given the fact that four of Mr. Waite’s best friends work at a tattoo shop, the front of the shirt is one of those artistic creations.

The back of the shirt is taken from Devin’s “About Me” section on his Facebook page.

“The front of the shirt is a tattoo and the back of it is Devin’s deep, moving statement about life,” Ms. Clemmo said.

Nearly 90 shirts have been ordered from Potsdam’s Great Northern Printing, according to Ms. Clemmo.

Those who are interested in ordering a t-shirt are asked to call Terri Clemmo at 315-842-9692.

Sandar Bregg from Joe’s Bar and Grill in Norfolk also recently contributed funds from an event they held in February. “He called me and asked what he could do. Beautifully he decided to give all of the proceeds from the 50-50 raffle to us. There were four local bands that came to the bar and the door fees, etc,. were also donated,” Ms. Clemmo said.

This weekend will serve as a remembrance of a wonderful young man, according to Ms. Clemmo.

“It’s going to be kind of a closure thing. The kids wanted a bench and the reality of the bench came to life through all of the support and donations of the community,” she said. “I couldn’t thank the community enough ,and I know the family is very appreciative.”

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