Illinoisan of the Day

August  08, 2013

A northwestern Illinois woman will be honored this Friday at the state fair. Jean Ferris from Savanna has been named Illinoisan of the Day by the Illinois State Fair Museum Foundation. 

A friend, Ron Johnston, nominated Ferris because of all of the volunteer work she's done for the Mississippi River town. 

"She's the kind of person if you ask if she could help you, she says, 'Yes,'" said Johnston. "She doesn't say, 'What do you want me to do?' She just says, 'Yes.' And I find a lot of quality in her for just that kind of stuff. Lot of times you ask somebody and the first thing they want to know is what they got to do. They may or may not. But Jean, she doesn't ask, she just says, 'Yes.'"

Since retiring from a long career as an elementary school teacher in Savanna, Jean Ferris has taught herself how to apply grants, and secured funding for a historical museum in town she helped to establish.

Ferris says even though it'll be her special day this Friday at the Illinois State Fair, she's going down to Springfield to represent the people of Savanna.

"I'm just so honored and I'm very humbled," said Ferris. "I feel like there are many others who are deserving, but I just am very, very pleased. And I guess that's about all I can say. I have so much gratitude and love in my heart and support for everybody who has been showering me with cards and thanks, that I hope I just represent them well."

The State Fair Museum chose ten people to be honored as the Illinoisan of the Day for each day of the fair. Jean Ferris will be interviewed on the Farm Bureau Stage at the State Fair at noon on Friday, and also receive a proclamation by Governor Pat Quinn.