Inspiring LaBelle – Kelly Boone works tirelessly for the community

(Submitted photo) Proud mom and Executive Director of LDRC posts, “This is the Wearable Art from Thistle & Thorn, for Wharf Walk! Hannah was the lucky one to wear it and she rocked it! -beard and all!”

Kelly Boone, is a mom of 16 year old twin daughters, Hannah and Haley and dog mom to “two of the cutest dogs in the world”, Fritz and Magneto. She has been married to her husband Billy for 25 years. “I enjoy spending time with all of them and laughing with my friends.” She and her family have lived here since 2005, and she is a huge part of the community. She has been a Girl Scout leader for the past 10 years. She is also the Executive Director of LaBelle Downtown Revitalization Corporation (LDRC).

“Along with the board of directors at LDRC, I work to bring positive attention to Downtown LaBelle. Our goal is to revitalize the downtown district, through historic preservation, economic growth and stability, making it a place for our community to come together,” Boone says about her job duties. An amazing mother, wife, and friend, Kelly Boone’s dedication to bringing new, fun, wonderful things to LaBelle is unmatched. The work she does is often behind the scenes, and may go unnoticed by the masses, but her efforts are great.

When asked why she thinks she was chosen as an inspirational person of LaBelle, Kelly says she isn’t sure. She humbly replies that she could not pull off all she does, without the help from her board members and the community, “What I do is a team effort, one person cannot put on the concerts and events that we do. I’d have to say I’m tireless in my efforts. Perhaps someone finds that admirable.”

An only child, growing up in a divorced family, Boone grew up in Mayfield Heights, Ohio with her dad and step-mom. She spent her summers in Trion, Georgia with her mother. “I was a pretty happy kid and a typical teenager. I could tell stories for hours about all the fun I had with my two cousins, they definitely hold my best childhood memories for me. My childhood was filled with laughter and knowing I was cherished by my extended family.” She went on to say, “I liked all my elementary school teachers and I remember my 6th grade teacher the most. She prepared us for junior high and helped us transition from being little kids to knowing what to expect in the real world. I can still hear her voice while doing certain things. I liked my high school Home Economics teacher, too.” Her biggest influence? “I’d have to say my husband has influenced me the most. We basically grew up together and it was just us. We learned from each other and inspired each other to be better for each other.”

When asked about her future goals and aspirations, Boone says, “I’d love for Downtown LaBelle to become a place that everyone feels safe and comfortable in. I want it to have an artsy flair, have modern imnenities but still hold on to that southern charm we all love. I want it to be bursting with successful small businesses and hold opportunities for entrepreneurs. I want visitors to be in awe of Downtown LaBelle’s beauty and uniqueness. My dreams of potted plants on the street corners, sculptures, murals, walking tours, a revitalized park, playground, people walking their dogs, places to sit in the shade to eat ice cream and enjoy small town life inspires me. I see what the downtown district has the potential to be and I want that for everyone.”

A typical day for Boone sounds beyond exhausting, “It’s long!!” She exclaims, “Billy and I get up at 4:30 a.m. to go to Bloodline CrossFit almost every morning. As soon as I get home I’ve got to run the girls to LaBelle High. Then I come back home and spend the morning with Fritz, (who happens to be the LDRC mascot!) and Magneto while I get ready for work. My position is part-time so I work half of my day with LDRC and half with Visaggio & Co, a marketing company based out of Fort Myers. I pick up the girls from volleyball, come home, eat dinner and binge watch one or two episodes of whichever show we are hooked on, soak in the tub and go to bed around 10:30.” She is most proud of the way she has raised her daughters, saying “I absolutely love being their mom and feel I’ve done a pretty okay job at bringing them up.”

She works tirelessly because she is so passionate about what she does and where she lives. “I love my job!! I do it because I want to see progress and I want others to enjoy their community!”

When asked what she might do differently, if she could, she says “Hmmm… that’s a tough one because I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. So, if I change something then it may change the success of something else so I’d have to say I don’t think like that. Move on and move forward. A great friend told me ‘don’t trip over the things behind you’ and that speaks volumes to me. I wouldn’t change a thing.” Her inspiration comes from her family and friends. “I want the best for them and in order to do that, I’ve got to be a positive force. We all have bad days but I can always count on them to pull me out of a mood and get back on track.”

How does she push through her worst times? “Honestly, God has a way of making even the worst day a blessing. I have faith that when you put your trust in Him, that there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel. I try not to dwell on my failures or struggles because it will always get better,” she declares. Her personal motto is, “Everything happens for a reason.”

She doesn’t have much free time, but Boone still takes time to stop and smell the roses. “Usually when I get it, I go home and don’t leave! I do love going to Disney, watching movies, bird watching with Billy, parties with friends, and sleeping.”

Recently, she pulled off an innovative Wearable Art Show at Wharf Walk. Filled with great food, music, and art- the night was filled with something for everyone. Wearable art outfits sashayed down the catwalk- some inspired by Thanksgiving turkeys, others made with up-cycled materials, and all were unique and creative. Attendees raved about the event, saying they weren’t sure what to expect but that Boone really delivered a memorable evening.

“Congratulations LaBelle Downtown the annual Wharf Walk was amazing. The dinner delicious,” posted Julie Wilkins, on Facebook.

What is next for Boone and LaBelle? Boone says, “We have big plans for the City of LaBelle’s Downtown district. It’s just going to take time. Please join us when you can at our events, it really makes us happy to see y’all happy and enjoying yourself!! Thank you for supporting LDRC and all of our efforts”

Danika can be reached at dhopper@newszap.com

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