Alumni launch fundraiser for longtime JMU Dining staff member

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HARRISONBURG,Va. (WHSV) — Kathy Landis will be retiring on Wednesday after working for nearly 38 years at a dining hall on the campus of James Madison University.

One thing Kathy says she misses most about her job, is cooking great food for the Dukes

Students knew her by a few different nicknames — including Miss Kathy and Mama K. They say she always welcomed them with a smile.

Kathy is retiring from D-Hall because of the stroke she suffered in November 2018.

What worries her now is the cost of many of her bills, medical debt and the cost of her assisted living facility that have been adding up. She believes this may cause a financial struggle as she begins to wrap up her career.

As Miss Kathy has been there for many students on campus, some Dukes have started a GoFundMe page to help Kathy in her time of need.

Amy Sheffer, a co-organizer of the page, said Kathy always went out of her way to help students and that's why it's important to stand with her now.

"We created the GoFundMe because Kathy has worked here at JMU, and she's poured everything into her job," Sheffer said. "They've become her family and her actual home away from home."

Sheffer said the money raised will directly help Kathy pay for her high insurance premiums, once her short-term disability runs out in May.

"I just want to be myself, like I was before I got sick, hurt, and left," Kathy said. "I just want to be on the campus, on my home."

As of Monday, the page has raised $12,000 out of the $50,000 goal.

One comment on the donation site referred to Kathy as "the GOAT" — the greatest of all time. Another was from a victim of the last month's massive apartment fire in Harrisonburg, who said Kathy could use the money more than they could.

To donate, you can click here.