The Mantis Family

Alex Mantis, the original owner of Pizza By Alex, started donating pizza parties for Sweetser children back in 1961. A friend of his had two children who were helped by Sweetser and Alex wanted to show his appreciation by giving something back to Sweetser. His nephew Andy took over the family business in 1985, and continued the tradition, even after Alex’s passing in 2007. 

Every holiday season, the children living on Sweetser’s Saco campus look forward to visiting this well-established restaurant located in the heart of Biddeford. When it comes to pizza, Pizza By Alex is the campus favorite. “This is a special treat for our kids,” says former Sweetser Residential Director and current Director of Intake, Gail Howlett-Brown. “We look forward to our Pizza Party all year long and it’s a great way to start the holidays.” 

Andy Mantis personally serves the children when they visit. “It makes me feel good to see smiles on their faces,” says Andy. “For one night, the kids can just be themselves and enjoy a pizza. The holidays must be a difficult time for these kids and we are happy to make the days a little more pleasant for them.”

The Mantis family has provided more than just pizza to Sweetser over the years. Upon his death in 2007, Alex Mantis bequeathed $475,000 to support Sweetser programs. Andy Mantis has been a loyal and generous financial supporter as well.

We are grateful to Andy and the Mantis family for their long-term generosity. They continue to enrich many lives and make a difference not only to Sweetser, but to numerous charitable organizations.

Learn more about Sweetser’s planned giving opportunities.