The Brunswick Area Student Aid Fund arranged this award to honor Mr. Mario Tonon, who is considered to be BASAF’s Founding Father and a guiding influence of the Fund for many years. Mario was born on September 24, 1918. As a result of his own hard work and a scholarship, he attended Bowdoin College and graduated with the Class of 1942. He served in the U.S. Army from 1943 until 1946. During a span of 24 years, Mr. Tonon was a French instructor, guidance counselor, high school Principal, and Superintendent of Schools in Brunswick. He was also the Superintendent of Schools for SAD 40 for 8 years, and a teacher at St. John’s Parochial School in Brunswick for 16 years.
While in these positions, Mr. Tonon gradually convinced the citizenry of Brunswick and Topsham that the area’s young men and women would achieve great things if they were given even a slight helping hand to pursue education beyond high school. He strongly encouraged award recipients to give back to BASAF from the fruits of their higher learning, and he also encouraged high school students to raise funds for BASAF. This resulted in the annual SNOGARD fund raising effort at Brunswick High School. Mr. Tonon passed away on May 5, 1995, and he was buried at the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Augusta, Maine.
On June 8, 1970, the BASAF Board of Directors saluted Mr. Tonon for “his conception and fulfillment of the project–The Brunswick Area Student Aid Fund.” Click the link below to read the text of the Testimonial.