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People always make the difference

To the editor:

Having recently retired from ministry here in the Ohio Valley, it occurred to me that a thank-you was in order.

Twenty-eight years ago, going on 29 now, our family relocated from East Fairfield where we had spent most of our lives and were quite at home. What we discovered here were people with strong family values as well as who took pride in their community, and a work ethic second to none.

We bought our furniture down at Frank & Jerry’s — he treated you like family, and, well, you know Jerry Barilla’s commitment to the valley and to Steubenville even now as the mayor. Early on I stumbled upon Hood’s drug store in Follansbee, by accident I might add, and met a wonderfully helpful young man named Joe, who again offered service second to none. We still get our prescriptions from Hood’s. When we built a house or had work that needed done around the church, I just called Fort Steuben Maintenance, and Jim took care of it — what a fine young man.

You know we live in difficult days where people tend to turn on one another, and given the Internet access people who know little or nothing about the valley or its people all seem to have an opinion to share. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know and work with people from all walks of life — coaches Chuck Watt and Perry West; judges who work for justice with integrity; law enforcement officials who have a genuine concern for our citizens; teachers and school officials dedicated to providing a quality education to our youngsters, three of whom happen to be my grandchildren; doctors and health care workers on the front line during these challenging times; and even a few public servants (notice I didn’t say politicians — there is a difference, you know.) I could go on about the Rev. Ashley Steele and her assistants working tirelessly there at Urban Mission to the multitude of volunteers working at the myriad of nonprofit agencies serving the valley.

People make all the difference so thanks for making a difference in the lives of so many, my own included.

The Rev. Jeff Proya

Toronto

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