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Local nurse cares for community through fund

Mary DiDonato

When Mary DiDonato thinks of home, she thinks of her mother, a kind and caring woman who served others while never asking for anything in return. 

Mary has many fond memories of her mother's charity, including how she started every day by serving breakfast to an elderly neighbor with no nearby relatives. 

Those nurturing and generous qualities that Mary learned at home permeated her entire life and inspired her nearly 60-year nursing career. From her role as a head nurse at Akron General Medical Center to working alongside a local oncologist, Mary was there to help so many in the community during what were likely their most vulnerable moments. 

After two retirements – most recently just a short year ago at age 83 – Mary decided it was time to start giving back in another way. While she continues to volunteer in the medical field, she also wanted to help financially. She had already been donating to some of her favorite organizations on an annual basis, so when her nephew, a financial consultant, told her there was a way to continue that giving while establishing a charitable legacy that would live on forever, she took his advice and established the Mary DiDonato Fund of Akron Community Foundation. 

Through her fund, Mary is able to carry on the generosity she learned from her mother by supporting her favorite schools, churches and charities, both now and forever. "I call my mother 'Mother Teresa' because she's my Mother Teresa," Mary said. "She was a wise, caring person, and I try to emulate her."

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