Dolores “Dolly” Mamros loved children — her own, and all the children she encountered at Leechburg Area schools.
Now, about $6,000 from her life insurance policy will pay for lunches for students who need a helping hand.
Her granddaughter in Iowa came up with the idea.
Mamros was a secretary, first for the district’s elementary school and later at the high school for a total of about 20 years, and her husband, George, was a district teacher and football coach and later a substitute teacher. Both retired from the district.
George Mamros died Sept. 14, and Dolly died Nov. 4 at age 70.
Their son, Christopher G. Mamros, a Leechburg High grad who now lives in LeClaire, Iowa, sent a letter to the district outlining Dolly’s wishes.
In the letter, he said his family “believes it’s hard for anyone to concentrate when they are hungry.”
The family asked the district to pay off any overdue lunch balances of children currently enrolled, or who enroll in the future.
The family asked that the money not be used to pay off unpaid lunch bills for graduates or those who have left school the district.
In addition, Mamros, a security director for a corporation, wrote, “we would like this money to be used to pay for a regular lunch for any child whose account is at a point where they would either be turned away from receiving a lunch, or who would be given a substitute lunch.”
His daughter, Ali Mamros, 15, a high school freshman, said, “A lot of my friends get talked about if they get a reduced or free lunch, or if they don’t have enough money to pay for lunch.”
Leechburg Area Superintendent Tiffany Nix commended Ali.
The school district has 755 students. Nix said about 45 percent receive free or reduced-price lunches and would be eligible for help from the Mamros gift.
“The rest of the monies would be available to students who don’t qualify for free or reduced lunch, but whose parents struggle to pay for lunches,” the superintendent said.
District officials contact parents after a student has not paid for five meals.
“We work with families to make payment plans if they cannot afford to pay off cafeteria debt all at once,” she said. “We will always provide students with a hot lunch unless we are given a written directive from a parent to stop providing a lunch.”
Christopher Mamros’ sons, Joshua and Ben, both live in the Kepple Hill section of Parks Township.
Dolly Mamros “cared about everyone,” said Joshua Mamros, who graduated from Leechburg High School in 2009.
“She would be happy by this,” said Ben Mamros, who attended Leechburg Area schools but graduated elsewhere.