Georgette Spotlight: Yvonne Boon
When Yvonne and Dave Boon went looking to grow their dairy farm into a multi-site operation, they found more than just a new business opportunity in George.
They found a home.
The outgoing couple jumped right into George life only weeks after arriving some nine years ago. Yvonne was quick to join the George Community Hall Board. Today she is board president and a volunteer with the Georgettes. She is the events director for the town’s most festive event of the year, July 4th in George.
As for Dave, he’s right beside his wife. He will be mc-ing some of the July 4th festivities this year as well as serving up ice cream on the famous Georgette cherry pie.
“It’s just who we are,” said Yvonne of how quickly the couple assimilated to George life. “We feel it’s important to become part of a community if you’re going to move there.”
Living on a farm just south of town, the Boons are among about 19 dairy farms operating in Grant County. From Mount Vernon in Skagit County, the couple has been farming together for 36 years. (For Dave, who grew up on a dairy farm, he’s been farming all his life.)
The couple found their way to George when they were looking to expand their operation, which they now run with two of their four children. The family needed a location to raise young stock. The family was seeking not only a large space for their operation but also one that was in a warm, sunny climate. Dave and Yvonne volunteered to be the ones to relocate because their children are raising young families. (The couple has nine grandchildren.)
Warden and Ephrata also came up in the Boons’ search; however, the couple landed in George. The town’s close proximity to Interstate 90 turned out to be a great match for the family and its operation, Dave said.
Once a week, the Boons head west over the mountain passes to their Mount Vernon operation with a trailer-load of stock. They return with a trailer-load of young heifers.
The young stock is brought east at 6 to 7 months of age and then returned to Mount Vernon when they are ready to go into production, which is about 2 years old.
Despite this active lifestyle, the Boons still find time to immerse themselves in the George community. And it’s one that they are enjoyoing.
Upon arriving in George, they were pleased to quickly learn that the community is a tight one, full of hard-working people, they said. There’s also a neighborliness in George that they appreciate, they said.
In fact, a day or two after they arrived, three neighboring families stopped in to introduce themselves. Later, when they found themselves alone for their first July 4th celebration in town, neighbors reached out to the Boons to invite them to stop in for a potluck. The gathering has become a tradition now.
This July 4th, the Boons will be joined by their family in George. The annual festival has become an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends while also meeting people who have traveled to the unique town and unique celebration.
“We see people from far and wide,” Dave said.
Still, it was an adjustment moving to such a small town, Yvonne said. On the west side, you don’t have to travel far for shopping centers, she said.
And then there’s the name.
“It’s amazing how many chuckles we get when the person at the end of the other line hears we live in George, Washington,” Dave said.
— By Jill FitzSimmons, email@example.com