CommunityEducationRoute 66

In Honor of Cathy, Public School Lunch Debts Erased

Bison Blinds

When Sean Cummings dropped in at Luther schools last week, he had already delivered checks at schools across eastern Oklahoma County. Harrah, Jones, Choctaw-Nicoma Park, Mid-Del, and Luther schools suddenly had student lunch debt wiped out to honor the memory of Sean’s late wife, Cathy Cummings

Cathy Cummings was a restaurateur, local mayor (The Village), mother, wife, friend, and passionate community cheerleader. Food writer Dave Cathey wrote one of the most tender tributes to honor the life of the Vito’s Ristorante owner, “someone pointed out that when Cathy passed through a room, folks half-expected animated bluebirds to follow and flit about her.”

Before she died in February from a brief but courageous battle with cancer, friends set up a GoFundMe account honoring Cathy’s wish to pay off school lunch debt.

It is with heavy hearts that we come together to honor the memory of our beloved Cathy Cummings, who touched the lives of so many with her kindness, warmth, and boundless love.Cathy was a beacon of light in our community and her impact will continue to be felt for generations to come.

Your generosity, regardless of its size, will forever symbolize the love and compassion that Cathy exemplified during her time among us.

Thank you for joining us in honoring Cathy’s legacy and for contributing to this meaningful endeavor. She will be deeply missed, but her spirit will continue to inspire us all.

Cathy Cummings GoFundMe page

Sean said Cathy wanted to pay school lunch debt when she learned of a high school student who almost lost a college scholarship because his high school held up the release of a transcript due to an $18 school lunch debt.

Luther’s school lunch debt was $914, lower than that of area schools. Superintendent Barry Gunn said the funds will erase debt from previous years because this year, all Luther students have breakfast and lunches paid, believed to be funded by a grant.

Gunn said Luther students might not need lunch money for two more years if the program continues. The Luther district also is preparing locally grown beef for students. The beef comes from 4 AC Ag Service through grant funding, according to 4 AC’s Facebook page.

With almost $50,000 donated in Cathy’s honor, Sean will continue visiting schools with checks as long as funds are available. Almost $16,000 has been spent in eastern Oklahoma County.

  • Harrah $3,499
  • Jones $4,224
  • Luther $914
  • MidDel $2,115
  • Choctaw-Nicoma Park $5,239

Cheering on Luther

Cathy visited Luther several times, including participating at the Stump Speech event on Main Street as a primary candidate in June 2022.

Stump Speech Event 2022

Cathy also loved the Luther Pecan Festival and posted this video in 2021 when we had the festival at the pecan orchard. Her excitement was contagious and was a thrill to any event planner’s heart.

Sean said delivering the school lunch debt payment checks is part of working through his loss. “Every time I post a picture of a school I’ve been to, we raise another $1,500 – $2,500. It reminds people we’re doing it. There’s nothing in it for me. It’s a great deal for my wife and her memory, so I guess that’s what’s in it for me. In my grief, I’m going to do something that benefits somebody.”

Plus, he said, “It’s impossible for children to learn when they are hungry.”

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