Like most years, 1981 was a year to remember. Raiders of the Lost Ark was the number one movie in the country. Prince Charles married Princess Diana, and NASA launched the space shuttle Columbia the first flight of the space shuttle program. 1981 was also the year a young man named Mark Johnson began his television career.

The big announcement

Mr. Johnson announced Monday during his 4 pm newscast that he will be retiring from Channel 7 at the end of this year. The broadcaster has covered events from the Olympics to the Super Bowl and other epic sporting events. He won a national Edwin R. Murrow Award for his coverage of the Salt Lake City Olympics.

Community Partner

Although known nationally for his work in Idaho, Johnson is a tireless advocate in the Treasure Valley. There's never a nonprofit fundraiser that's aided by his humor, compassion, and empathy as the master of ceremonies.

Year after year, Mark sings his heart out during the Boise Rescue Mission's Thanksgiving Banquet. He's on stage singing Christmas songs while homeless people enjoy perhaps their only warm meal during the holiday. Mark has had famous partners join him in a song like former Governor Butch Otter and the Boise State Bronco football team.

Reverend Bill Roscoe, CEO of the Boise Rescue Mission, shared Mark's impact with us. "Mark is simply a great guy. When I met him 20 years ago, I wondered if he was "for real" or just a showman. He's the real deal. Funny, smart, sincere, and bright. Mark didn't just report the news; he participated in the news, supporting dozens of nonprofits with his time, enthusiasm, and fame. I wish him and his family the very best as they embark on their new adventure. I'll miss him on the news."

Master of Ceremonies

You can catch Mark helping the West Ada Boys and Girls Club with their annual fundraiser.  This year the auction was virtual.  However, that didn't stop the good times and the giving led by 'Cowboy Mark.'  You can see the entire auction below.

Mark has also worked to help  Big Brothers - Big Sisters, United Cerebral Palsy, United Way, Salvation Army, First Tee of Idaho, Make-A-Wish,, Dress For Success and others, from a release from KTVB.

Dave Petso shared his thoughts on Mark's impact to the Treasure Valley. "The biggest media personality is leaving the scene.Mark is Bigger than life. He is always on his game.  Positive energy all the time.Need an MC at a fund raiser? This is your guy!He always carries such amazing energy, and has an endless smile.Mark makes everyone feel like his buddy. He really cares about people.Genuine.He is the real deal.Loves this community, his family, and friends.This great community will miss his regular presence in our lives.Thank you Mark for your great work, and love for this community."

A trusted friend

Appearing on television night after night is not an easy task.  The naturals, like Mark Johnson, make it look easy.  Great television broadcasters guide us through the good times and the bad.  They become our virtual companions, although there's nothing virtual about Mark Johnson's commitment to our community.

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