Homefinders Plus Real Estate is helping WBOY recognize Remarkable Women in our community.
FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Mary Jo Thomas describes herself as just ‘a kid from Blaine Street.’ But in the years since, she’s spent every spare moment and even then some giving back to the home that raised her.
“The only other woman who had been chair of the Salvation Army […] she was the chair the year I was born,” Mary Jo recalled. “And I was the next person, the next woman.”
These days, you can find Mary Jo at the Fairmont Women’s Club, Rotary Club, Rhododendron Girls State, Supervisory Committee for the Fairmont Federal Credit Union, and many more board and committee positions throughout Fairmont. In short, if there is a need for service, there is Mary Jo.
She laughed as she told 12 News her friends and acquaintances often know she is fundraising.
“Fortunately and unfortunately, I am looking for money for lots of different things.”
She is also president of the Marion County School Board.
“Somebody made it easier for me. Or a lot of somebodies made it easier for me. So part of what I need to do is make it easier for someone else,” she said.
For Mary Jo, volunteering is just a part of the revolution of life. It’s a circle of service that eventually saved hers. After tearing down the annual Celebration of Lights, she thought she felt a dryer sheet stuck in her shirt the next day.
“Well it wasn’t a dryer sheet,” she remembered. “It was a lump.”
Mary Jo is now a breast cancer survivor, five years out from her diagnosis. She credits the pulling and tugging of her work that day for the early detection of a fast-growing tumor. Since then, she has also had a stroke, but even that hasn’t slowed Mary Jo — or her sense of humor — down.
“I named my, mostly it was left side hand and arm, this is Lurch,” she laughed. “Lurch is coming along.”
Of course, Mary Jo has turned her struggles into service, and the cycle continues thanks to this Remarkable Woman and those that came before her.
“They paved the way.”