Local business owner gives away home

Local business owner donates house

HOPKINS CO., Ky. (WFIE) - The owner of a local travel agency in Madisonville is moving locations after 35 years, and she’s donating the building that once housed her business.

Mary Lou Boal, the owner of Total Travel Service, says she didn’t want the building to go to waste.

She started her company back in 1985. Boal says the building used to house at least 10 travel agents. Now, she’s downsizing and moving to a different location.

Since she’s parting ways with the building, she wanted someone else to have it.

That someone is Jimmy Benton, who’s been mowing the lawn at the agency since the very beginning.

“He’s never missed. He’s always been here. And he’s a wonderful hard-working father," Boal said.

She gave the building to Benton and his family.

“She handed me the keys, and I didn’t know what to say," said Benton. "I was shocked.”

Jimmy’s wife April tells us that she’s excited to not only have a bigger home, but it also allows them to move closer to her mom.

“I’ve never had anything given to me. Or it’s just never happened for me," April said.

The Benton family tells us they’re looking forward to getting settled into their new home and relaxing.

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