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Disaster Response Team rolls onto Fort Myers Beach

September 20, 2017
Jessica Salmond - News Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The Lutheran Church Charities' Disaster Response Team came armed to tackle debris on Fort Myers Beach.

The four-man group of volunteers brought a tractor with a grapple, chain saws and plenty of food and water to lend a hand to recovery efforts around Lee County. The group arrived Monday morning and went to work on Fort Myers Beach, pulling downed branches and brush from yards and piling it up by driveways.

"My daughter is getting married this Saturday and I have wedding guests coming," said Dr. Wayne Edson, a Delmar resident. "It was a priority for me."

Article Photos

DisasterResponseTeam_ Lutheran Church Charities' Disaster Response Team, Steve Chester, Ed Boeman, Phil Darling and Steve Black cleaned up several yards on Delmar Avenue, including the back yard of Dr. Wayne Edson.

Steve Chester of Wheaton, Ill., Steve Black and Phil Darling of Guilford, Ind., and Ed Boerman of Chicago made up the team, which is facilitated through the Lutheran Charities organization. Its local connections are Hope Lutheran in Bonita Springs and Zion in Fort Myers.

They also tackled Ron and Jan Fleming's yard on Delmar; Jan Fleming said the four men were humble and worked well together to get the job done.

"They were so amazing it brought tears to my eyes, because we were so grateful for their service to our community," she said.

These four men travel the country responding to natural disasters, spending hours cleaning up at no charge. They also brought supplies to distribute. They'll be in southwest Florida for a few weeks, planning to assist La Belle, Cape Coral and Naples, as well as anyone else who needs assistance. If you need help clearing debris, email

"We've got a big schedule," Boerman said. "It's all with the church. It's what Christians do, help other people."



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