Mark Boon’s Impact on Ludington: Paying it Forward for 47 Years and Counting
Yearbooks are a way to remember the days you roamed the halls of your alma-mater or remember your atrocious sense of style, but for Mark Boon of Ludington, these yearbooks serve for something much more– his lasting impact on the school and community. Mark Boon has been in 47 consecutive yearbooks and over the years, he has worn many hats. From teacher, principal, driving instructor and his role today as a daily volunteer.
For decades he has been teaching lessons that resonate with the students and stick with them long after they graduate– be kind and pay it forward. Tricia Axel who graduated in 1994 says, “Everyone knows Mr. Boon… He’s just a wonderful man.” Years later his impact is no different. Audra Shoop, a senior at Ludington high school says, “He makes each kid feel like they are a part of the school. Mr. Boon has taught me to be more myself and to help others no matter what their problems are.”
Beyond making each child at Ludington schools feel special, he makes sure their basic needs are met. “The resource center has been kind of the trademark of Mr. Boon the last five or six years because he provides so many things,” says Principal Dan Mesyar. This program provides clothing, food, school supplies, etc. for every kid in the school with no questions asked.
“It doesn’t take money to help people it takes your heart and that’s what you should do,” says Mark Boon. For decades he has been selflessly giving to families and students in need of a helping hand. In addition to the resource center, Mark’s weekend meal initiative is giving students breakfasts and dinners when they’re not in school.
It’s this giving spirit that trickles down and serves as an example for each young life he touches. Audra Shoop says, “that will stick with me and when I finally settle down somewhere I would want to do the same.”
The impact he’s made on the school and community is unfathomable and if you ask anyone in Ludington, they will most likely tell you his role in the community is irreplaceable. Mark Boon says, “I keep trying to train somebody to take my spot and every year people ask, ‘are you going to stick around one more year?’ and I say eh maybe one more year. I’m hoping that when I walk away from here people are going to say, ‘I’m going to take that over and do exactly what he did.'”