The gentlemen of Boys II Men join the Aurora community in mourning the loss of Aurora’s 57th mayor, Thomas J. Weisner. After a long battle with cancer, mayor Weisner passed away Friday, Dec. 28, 2018.
Mayor Weisner was a stalwart supporter of Boys II Men since its establishment in 2002. During his tenure as mayor, he went above and beyond to support Boys II Men, both the organization and its individual members. He proclaimed B2M’s founding date of November 27 as Boys II Men Day in the City of Aurora, not once, but twice.
Beyond his role as mayor, the gentlemen of Boys II Men best remember mayor Weisner as a personal mentor, confidante, and friend.
“The passing of mayor Weisner hurts very much,” said B2M Scholar Frank Byndum, a junior in college who built a relationship with Weisner during his high school years. “He was such a great man with a kind heart. He and Mrs. Weisner would always invite us over to the house and have such great stories to tell and wisdom to share.”
Across the B2M organization, members have shared their sentiments and memories through social media. They have reflected on the personal conversations they had with him, a particular life lesson he gave them or one his jokes that would have them laughing for minutes.
Whether it was a canoe trip at Phillips Park or a Saturday outing at Sky Zone for the B2M Juniors or a surprise conference registration or paid college visit for the B2M Phenoms and Scholars, Weisner provided new opportunities and experiences for them, at his and Mrs. Weisner’s personal expense.
“There are a handful of organizations that have shaped our community for the better,” said Weisner when discussing the success of Aurora. “Boys II Men is certainly at the top of that list. The guys give us all hope for the future.”
During mayor Weisner’s communitywide retirement celebration in 2016, Boys II Men surprised him by renaming its annual award, the Thomas J. Weisner Phenomenal Man Achievement Award, in his honor. Each year, hundreds of young men receive this award for commitment to academics and community service.
“The mayor knew the importance of presence over presents,” said B2M founder Clayton Muhammad who also served as Weisner’s communications director at Aurora City Hall. “While he provided support in a variety of ways, he always made sure he was there for the big events and, more importantly, for the regular daily happenings in the lives of the B2M members. For that, we are eternally grateful.”
Even while battling his own health issues and a demanding public schedule, mayor Weisner spent hours sitting in the nursing home at the bedside of Mr. Muhammad’s mother, Willie, when she recuperated from leg amputation surgery and eventually succumbed to diabetes-related complications.
That is the Tom Weisner we all know and love. He was always willing to put others before himself and go the extra mile to help those in his community.
B2M would not and could not be what it is today without the support, guidance and love from Mayor Thomas J. Weisner. He was a trusted friend, and as the song reminds us, that’s what friends are for. We’ll keep smiling and keep shining knowing we could always count on him.
Rest in peace, sir.
— Boys II Men