|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Copyright 2014 - Polk County Publishing Company
Boone to be honored for community service
BY BRIAN BESCH
SERVICE AWARD — Patsy Boone of Livingston will be recognized for her community service during the Livingston-Polk County Chamber of Commerce banquet on Jan. 30. LIVINGSTON -- Many in Polk County are familiar with Patsy Boone as "The Land Lady," but there could be even more who know her as someone who loves children, animals and as one of the area's top humanitarians. Those in the latter group will not be surprised to learn Boone will be a recipient of a 2013 Livingston-Polk County Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award. Boone will be among the honorees during the annual Livingston- Polk County Chamber of Commerce awards banquet on Jan. 30. Tickets to the annual event are on sale for $30 through Jan. 28 at the chamber office. No tickets will be sold at the door. In speaking with her, it is easy to discover Boone's love of children. After raising a dozen from two generations of her own family, she still finds time to take in others. "I love the children and I have worked with them since the '80s with child welfare," Boone said. "I raised six children by myself, I never took welfare, I never took food stamps, but it all has to do with the children. They send me to seminars to set goals for children, because I have turned out six children. It wasn't from money, I put them through college working the hospitals all night, doing real estate, cleaning out an old hotel and stuff like that. I also go in and mentor the kids over at Pine Ridge Elementary. I try to teach mothers not to take free money, to set goals for their children. That is how I started working with kids. I ended up doing real estate. Then, I inherited six grandkids to raise from four-years-old and up." Although she says she isn't sure how she finds the time to do it all, Boone says she feels very blessed to have the opportunity. It is not only children she lends a helping hand to, Boone assists whoever needs the help. "I can give you a list of older people — I'm probably older than them — that I take food to," Boone said. "There is a group of kids I have had for five years that I buy clothes for and take to church. I try to teach the younger ones to want to do for the older ones. It is like a missionary thing for them. I am just lucky to be able to do it. I am so blessed that I can get around better than half of the young ones. I want to try to help these kids and teach the parents to set examples for their children." Spending the majority of her life in the county, Boone has a fondness for all things and people in the area. "I love Polk County, and it is easy to sell Polk County," she said. "I love the schools; I helped get funds for the new college. I arrived here in 1958 and came up with everyone that is here. I get to see all these young ones grow up and I probably had a lot of them in Sunday school. In those days, we started things like the Fifth Quarter after football games, Little League and things for the kids, because none of that was here. If you talk to many people, they have done the same thing I have, but it helped that everyone built together to make Polk County stronger. There are so many here that are good people and I think we're only going to grow and grow. We will always need that basic thing — to not forget where you came from." There is a reason, Boone says, real estate is an easy sell in Polk County. "It still has that hometown atmosphere," she said. "Just like our Christmas parade, you can't go to many towns, stand around and be comfortable at night and enjoy what we do. You don't need a lot of money to have a good life and that's what I try to teach some of the parents. All of those things are important, from the schools to the city, to the parks. My basic thing is to push family. I know that our area will get bigger eventually, but it doesn't matter how big you get if you can make what's inside of you good." Boone's husband died of a heart attack whenever she was in her mid-40s. Suddenly, she had six children with the youngest about to enter the fourth grade. She moved to Polk County to be around family and began work at the First National Bank. After surviving the first wave, Boone then took in six grandchildren. She had retired by then, but the little ones who came to live with her spanned in age from four to teenager. Boone reached another milestone just last year, as the youngest graduated high school. It is not only people that she takes in. Boone has also been described as a one-person SPCA. "I don't even want to tell you how many I pick up," she said while laughing. She then tells a story of picking up a small, freezing dog at a local restaurant a few weeks ago. After knowing her new friend for a short time, the dog will go into surgery on Thursday. Boone said she is proud to be "The Land Lady" in Polk County and is especially fond of the projects she others in the field work on together, like Empty Stocking. "I don't know if people realize how good our realtors are in this town," she said. "We get together on a project like that and it makes a difference in our town. It is a good program." From the selfless acts she performs for others, Boone said there is much to be learned. "It has taught me that the good Lord gives you strength to do what's right, because you sure don't do it yourself," she said. "When you reach back to pat yourself on the back, He has his back there doing it for you. It is what you are made up of inside. (The award) is nice and I appreciate it. It is an honor, but you do not do this for awards, you do it because that is what you are made out of, or else it is not going to work. If you do not do it from the heart, it is not working anyway."