Student's unusual request grabs attention of business

Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2002

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. (AP) -- Kate Shermak's teacher gave her and her classmates an unusual assignment: Write to a local business and make an absurd request.

''My outrageous request is to get a lifetime supply of curly fries for free,'' Kate wrote to the operators of an Arby's restaurant. ''They are my favorite fries.

''If you can't meet my outrageous request, I will understand.''

The restaurant decided to one-up Kate in the outlandishness department by actually granting her wish. The fifth-grader got a certificate good for free curly fries for the rest of her life at the Hudsonville franchise, The Grand Rapids Press reported Wednesday.

Lisa Young, who manages the Arby's in Hudsonville, about 10 miles southwest of Grand Rapids, said she and company officials ''thought it was great that Kate decided that Arby's was her favorite place to eat.''

John Pyper, Kate's teacher at Jamestown Elementary School, said he has assigned the lesson for years as a way to make letter-writing fun.

This year, one child received a month's supply of free chocolate milk from a local dairy. Another student got a free ice cream party at a restaurant in nearby James-town.

But some requests are just too unrealistic, Pyper said. One student wrote to a sixth-grade teacher at the school, asking -- unsuccessfully -- to be excused from homework next year.

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