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Gene Viola, left, recently presented a check for $1,000 to Jefferson County Children Services as a donation to purchase classic children’s books for children of Jefferson County. The donation is shown being accepted by Tracey Dailey, Jefferson County Job and Family Services, Children Services Division, placement unit, adoption, adoption assessor, coordinator. The donation from the Mary Jo Viola Foundation honors the memory of Viola’s wife, the late Mary Jo Viola, who died in 2017. Her longtime career as an English teacher and advocate for area children included time spent serving as program director for Children’s Social Services in Steubenville. Viola and his family honor Mary Jo’s belief that a lifelong love of reading is the foundation of every child’s education, growth and development. The hope is that the books will encourage a passion for reading, according to Viola, whose son, Robert, also donated several copies of his book, “The Orphan, the Abbey & the Pack,” which was published in 2020. Also through the foundation, the Viola family made a $500 donation to Coats for Kids.

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