Secret Santa pays off negative meal balances for Downingtown Area School District

A Secret Santa walked into two Downingtown Area School District schools on Monday and paid off the outstanding meal accounts for dozens of students.   What he didn’t know at the time was that six other donors would follow his lead and pay off the negative balances at several other district schools.  The total donated by the seven anonymous donors now totals over $3,600.  


The first donor showed up at both Lionville Elementary School and Uwchlan Hills Elementary School and asked to settle all unpaid cafeteria bills.  The negative balances at both schools totaled over $300.  


Shelda Perry, principal of Lionville Elementary, said the gentleman had heard of another Secret Santa doing a similar good deed in another Pennsylvania school district and thought this would be a great way to give back to his community this holiday season.   “His two sons had graduated from our school several years ago and he remembered Lionville as a very special place. We are truly grateful.  This one act of kindness has impacted the lives of many families here at Lionville.”


Not content to help just one school, Santa then moved down the road to Uwchlan Hills, another DASD school, and paid off the negative balances of a few more families.  


“Although Chester County is one Pennsylvania’s thriving areas, there are still many families struggling to make ends meet” said the district’s superintendent, Dr. Emilie Lonardi.   “To have this gentleman “pay it forward” in such a thoughtful way will not only be remembered by the families he helped, but by our entire Downingtown family.”


In a thank you posted on the district’s website Richard Fazio, Chief Financial Officer of DASD, made mention of the fact that anyone else wishing to help could contact a district school. Six other Santas accepted that invitation and stepped forward to pay off the negative accounts at Beaver Creek Elementary, Uwchlan Hills Elementary, Springton Manor, Marsh Creek Sixth Grade Center, Brandywine Wallace and DHS West High School.  DHS West received a check for $2400 from their annonymous donor.   Another $100 was donated to help out where needed most at the other 9 district schools.   The grand total of these generous gifts is now over $3600. 


“There are a lot of smiling people in the district this week”, said Fazio. 



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