TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – The skies may have been overcast and temperatures just above freezing, but city officials, and other guests turned out at Ballard Park for an emotional celebration.
“He saw something in me that I hope I can live up to ,” said Mayor Jack Reed, Jr.
The Mayor’s Healthy Task Force was co chaired by Hank Boerner. The long-time director of NMMC’s wellness center passed away unexpectedly late last year.
Mayor Jack Reed Jr., credited Boerner with playing a pivotal role in the city’s distinction by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation as healthiest city in the state.
So when signs designating the award were unveiled, it was in honor of Hank.
Mayor Reed said Hank was passionate about healthy living for the entire community.
“He kept pushing me to do more, I assigned him the task but he was one of the ones who kept saying mayor, how about this, how about this, I couldn’t turn him down, and didn’t want to,” Reed said.
Boerner was always ready to promote healthy and active lifestyles, especially when kids were involved.
Family members say Boerner’s passion for exercise, health and proper diet, grew out of his deep love for the community.
“Health and being physically active has always been a part of our lives,” said Hank’s widow, Helen.
“It’s our whole family’s lifestyle. Being healthy and trying to improve ourselves. And being able to honor him with the signs all over town, will be so amazing. To say in honor of Hank Boerner, he was my dad but he was so much more to this community and it’s awesome to be able to honor him everywhere in town.”
Boerner’s family also wanted to point out that Hank would never want all the credit for helping Tupelo achieve healthiest city distinction. They say he would want to share that with all members of the Mayor’s Healthy Task Force. Still, his influence can’t be underestimated.