WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Just last week, Newswatch 16 was there when Mark Mangiardi, the owner of Leo's Pizzeria in Williamsport, fed an entire nursing home for free. Well, he is back at it this week.
On Monday, he presented gift certificates for one free large pizza to every student and staff member at Williamsport Area High School. This comes after two teachers were recently charged for sexually abusing students.
"We are trying to promote positivity back into the school. It has been going through a lot of stuff lately. We are trying to show the kids we are here for them and thinking of them. So, instead of sitting at home and thinking about it, we are trying to do something about it," said Mark Mangiardi, owner of Leo's Pizzeria.
Mangiardi handed out more than 1,700 gift certificates. That comes out to nearly $26,000 worth of pizza. Mangiardi says it is a lot but felt it was something he needed to do.
"We are hoping that our loyal customers keep coming and patronizing our restaurant. We are just going to take it day by day," said Mangiardi.
Faculty and students were excited to learn that they were all getting a free pizza.
"It is pretty cool. It is really nice of them, I think. Especially to help out locally," said Marcella Fisher, senior.
"It is awesome. I mean, for a local business to do that for a school in our community is amazing," said Brynn Broaddus, senior.
"It's very neat. Especially in the beginning of the school year when we are feeling a little off our game after enjoying a long summer break and getting back into it, to immediately have something nice happen. It feels pretty special," said Jennifer Flint, Chemistry teacher.
Newswatch 16 was there when Mangiardi and his daughter dished out gift certificates to students in science class.
"We love giving back to the kids because they appreciate it a lot, and we know that a lot of families could use it, and they will benefit. So, when they are happy, it's genuine," said Mangiardi.
Mangiardi tells Newswatch 16 that he will continue his generosity in the Williamsport area for as long as he is in business.
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