Mark Skogen

Mark Skogen

Owner & President – Festival Foods
Alumnus of the Boys & Girls Club of La Crosse, WI

I will never forget my basketball coach at the Boys & Girls Club, Terry Erickson. He instilled in me the idea of teamwork and dedication. Basketball was the reason I joined the Club initially. I wanted to be able to travel around the state playing basketball in tournaments. But, it turned out to be a lot more than just playing basketball for me.

I met a lot of kids that weren’t from my school and I became great friends with them; friendships I still have today. The teammates and coaches I had during my time at the Club taught me teamwork, independence and dedication. I was pushed hard on and off the court which taught me lessons about the sport and life that I will never forget.

It is great to see my current co-workers’ children be affected by the Club today just as I was back when I was a member. It is a positive asset for both the parents and the children since the parents don’t have to worry about what their children are doing after school and the children are in a motivating and encouraging environment with other peers. The Club taught me that I wanted to be the best at everything I do even if it meant hard work and sacrifice to become the best.

Although I’m no longer a member of the Club I still support it because I truly believe that there would be a hole in the lives of so many children if the Club was not there to keep them learning, growing and socializing in a stimulated way. The Club directed me away from a life of crime or drug and alcohol abuse and I think it has done that for countless kids. It’s rewarding to give back to an organization that I can clearly see the benefits of years later.