• Bar owner's generosity wipes out students' overdue lunch bills


    Students in the Laurel Highlands School District are getting help with hundreds of dollars in past-due lunch bills.

    On the same week that students at Marshall Elementary are learning about random acts of kindness, the school is getting help from a local business that paid off every past-due student lunch bill, totaling $700.

    Channel 11 talked to the director of food service, who said the need is there.

    "One less worry for the families, especially this time of the year," Eric Gaydos said. "All of our buildings are Title I buildings, so they're all 40% threshold with economically disadvantaged status, so any little bit helps."


    Smitty's Bar and Grille is less than a quarter of a mile down the road from the school.

    The owner, Gary Nicklow, was too modest to talk to Channel 11, even though he's responsible for bringing some early Christmas cheer to the families at Marshall.

    But on social media, he said that the families could use the little extra money he gave to make their children's Christmas better and is challenging other businesses to do the same.

    "I hope he sees this and understands how fortunate we are to have someone like him in our community that has given back to the students," Superintendent Jesse Wallace said.



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