Former school workers donate life insurance to help pay for kids' overdue lunch money

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Dolores “Dolly” Mamros of Leechburg, Penn., made one last gesture for the children at the school where she’d worked for 25 years: a $6,000 donation paid from her life insurance. The money will go to pay for students’ unpaid lunch bills.

Mamros passed away in November, shortly after her husband, George Mamros, in September. Both were employees of the Leechburg School District. Dolores was a secretary for the school board and her husband a substitute teacher and football coach.

A letter from the Mamros family, who now live in Iowa, proposes how the money should be spent: “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.”

The idea for the donation came from Mamros’s granddaughter, Ali Mamros, 15. “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,” she told

Leechburg Area Superintendent Tiffany Nix welcomes the gift and says it will help poorer students alongside programs already in place. “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,” said Nix.

About 45 percent of Leechburg school district’s 755 students receive free or reduced-price lunches, Nix said. “We work with families to make payment plans if they cannot afford to pay off cafeteria debt all at once. We will always provide students with a hot lunch unless we are given a written directive from a parent to stop providing a lunch.”

“[My grandmother] cared about everyone,” said Mamros’ grandson, Joshua, who graduated from Leechburg High in 2009. “She would be happy by this,” added her other grandson, Ben.

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