Touchstone Award Winner: Mark Boben

Updated: October 08, 2018 05:39 PM

Mark Boben is a man with a mission. And he, along with a team of supporters, have completed different phases of the mission over the years. "We've done a complete transformation of the building, and rebranded it as GND Rec," he shared with us.

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The Gary New Duluth Rec Center has become the place to be for its community. It offers a community center for different groups and school kids to get together at inside. Plus , outside, there's soccer fields, a pavilion, dog park, community gardens, and a sport court. 

Boben added, "We've incorporated things from old schools, like fixtures, and brought them here. Then we've had donations of things, like a new furnace and flooring and other materials."

Jason Duval, general manager of ASDCO, said they supplied materials. "It's going to be creating everlasting memories for people. They'll come and get to know the area. It's great to be part of this project."

The next phase is a skateboard park.

Boben has been spearheading these efforts. "When you start a project like this, your heart has gotta be in it. And you have to be passionate about it. Have a purpose, and demonstrate progress. And I've met so many wonderful people. It's just fabulous," he said.

He's being honored for fostering generosity in his community with a Touchstone Award from the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation. They took nominations from the community for this year's Generosity Award, and Boben was chosen. He's humble, and said while it's nice to be recognized, the real reward is strengthening the social fabric of his community.

People who work with him have nothing but great things to say. Nathan Glockle, principal at nearby Stowe Elementary, said, "There's not a lot of people who have that passion and drive. Really he brings a lot of experience to the table. He was in the oil business for many years, and knows how to develop and manage a project from start to finish." Kids from Stowe are utilizing the space during the day and after school.

Fran Morris, who's on the board of directors for the GND Alliance, added, "I have to say the favorite thing for me with this project has been the privilege to work alongside Mark. I feel blessed given this opportunity and w weill work hard and help him finish this goal. We'll have something for generations and generations to enjoy."

The Touchstone Awards are coming up on October 15th at the DECC.

If you'd like to help the GND Alliance finish their project:

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