The Minooka Lions Club announced its pick for the member of the community who has given back the most over the past year.
During this year's Summerfest in Minooka, the club honored Nate Ferguson as its Volunteer of the Year. Ferguson is the lead pastor of The Village Christian Church.
But he also serves the community in many other ways, the Lions Club announced.
While the Minooka Lions Club Volunteer of the Year is not required to be a member of the Lions Club, Ferguson is a current member who has chaired the Summerfest parade in the past, and in 2019 helped to organize the kiddie tractor pull.
Ferguson also works closely with these organizations in the Minooka and Channahon communities:
Backpack Food Program
This program provides children with non perishable food throughout the school year. The program is done confidentially where snacks are placed in children's' backpacks to take home from school.
Foundation for Excellence
The District 111 Foundation for Excellence raises funds for learning opportunities for children and staff members who are outside of the general budget of the school district.
Ferguson is a board member for Reclaim, which partners with the Northern Illinois Food Bank to support food trucks and pantries. The group also supports crisis center daycare for children in inner cities, works with JJC students on faith-based initiatives, and helps provide Christmas gifts for low income families.
Heart of Africa
He serves as vice chair for Heart of Africa, a faith-based humanitarian organization that focuses on areas of Africa that need support in the areas of hunger, poverty and education.
Ferguson is also active with the Rotary Club.
Ferguson was surprised by the honor, and he took the opportunity to invite the public to participate in on
"If anybody is interested in helping with our backpack program, which we're trying to expand that to another 100 kids in great need in our community, Minooka and Channahon, let me know. We're going to do that in 2019 and 2020 and beyond," he said.
The Minooka Lions Club Volunteer of the Year is chosen by secret ballot each year. he award honors a community member who participates in civic groups and local organizations across the community.