Mark Foley began working at Medina Entertainment Center when he was 15 years old and started his life-long career with us as a banquet bus boy. He would tell us from time to time how he and one lead banquet server would frequently take care of wedding receptions of 200 guests or more in our party rooms. He was an extremely hard worker and had lots of energy.
During his college years he continued working at Medina on the weekends. He would drive back from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and later from St. Cloud State University every weekend to work. He would bartend Friday nights, work open to close bartending on Saturdays, then get up before dawn on Sunday mornings to work the Weenie Wagon in Medina’s parking lot for the Hamel Lions Flea Market. After all of that, he would then close the bar down on Sunday night before heading back to college.
Mark took a hiatus from Medina to work as a bartender for Doolittle’s, and also managed at Action Radio in St. Paul. After a few years, we called him to ask if he would take the Restaurant Manager position, which at the time was for Rascals Restaurant. We are so grateful he accepted the position and he never looked back. Besides managing the restaurant, Mark also played on the Rascals softball team, and was on Medina’s Monday night bowling league, Monday Night Commercial League. He even took responsibility as the secretary for his league for many years up until recently.
Most employees will tell you that he loved music and knew the lyrics to what seemed like every song that played through Media’s speakers or while listening to songs on YouTube in his office. He frequently played “Name The Band” with employees and friends, was great at twirling the ladies and played a mean air guitar. If you got him going on a story, you better be prepared to stay a little longer than you were planning. He knew how to tease and joke with co-workers and customers alike, and generally was the unofficial goodwill “Ambassador” for Robert’s Restaurant. Even if you didn’t know his name, you knew “the guy who is always here.”
Foley was a problem-solver, critical thinker and helped Medina out of many jams! He was dependable and always there for all of us whenever we needed him. When most managers and employees had a problem with the computers, printers, internet issues, power outages, (we could go on and on here), “Ask Foley” was a frequent phrase spoken in our building. He could do ANYTHING that needed doing whether it be selling a concert ticket to unclogging a stubborn toilet. He remembered names of most guests that walked through the door even if he didn’t see them that often. On busy National Act nights, and on days when we hosted Easter & Mother’s Day brunches for 1000 guests, he never got flustered, was polite, happy and courteous, and again, never forgot a name!
Mark had a reputation of never needing a sick day or taking time off. So it was a shock to us all when he received the Stage 4 cancer diagnosis back in December 2021, just after his 50th birthday. While he started his chemotherapy in January, he continued to work full time at Medina. If anyone asked how he was or how he felt, he would say: “I am fine,” and then return to his jokes, work or conversation. He never complained. Throughout his short-lived battle with adenocarcinoma, in true Mark fashion, he demonstrated strength, courage, character, and dedication. On July 14, 2022, we lost a good man, advisor, teacher, co-worker, brother, and friend.
Thank you, Mark, for everything you’ve done for us over the last 35 years. We love you, we miss you, and we will never forget you!