Local Pastor Crowned as First Central Illinois Volunteer Citizen of the Year

In its first year, Direct Energy and the Journal Star’s Central Illinois Volunteer Citizen of the Year award is honoring Quinton Brown of Peoria. In addition to working full-time at his job at a local hospital, Brown serves as an unpaid pastor at the New Beginnings Worship Center and dedicates his time to revitalizing its surrounding neighborhood.

Under his leadership, Brown organizes an annual summer community festival that brings families near and far to enjoy live music, food, a petting zoo and educational activities for children. In his spare time, Brown works hard to make the Peoria community not only a better and safer place to live, but also a prettier one as well. He plants flowers and trees so that his community can shine and others can enjoy the beautiful foliage.

Through Brown’s many communal efforts, a once vacant space across from the New Beginnings Worship Center has been donated to him and he is currently in the process of transforming it into a safe, educational community center for the area’s youth. By recruiting church members, other volunteers and often using his money out of his own pocket, Brown has painted the building and assists in its ongoing remodeling initiatives so that it can be a thriving asset to the community. Brown’s vision for the community center includes a garden, classrooms and tutoring services. When he is not working on renovating the community center, Brown mentors others by encouraging them to go back to school and organizes uplifting workshops to help others realize their true potential.

“Quinton Brown is an amazing man. His dedication to bettering the lives of others is invaluable to the Peoria community,” said Ken Mauser, publisher of the Journal Star. “We applaud Quinton for his selfless efforts and feel that he is truly worthy of this honor.”

By winning the Central Illinois Volunteer Citizen of the Year award, Brown will receive a $1,000 cash prize and a $5,000 donation to the New Beginnings Worship Center from Direct Energy. The donation will be used to purchase computers, furniture, desks and other appliances that will help aid the development of the community center.

“The nominations received for our first program certainly did not disappoint and it was extremely difficult to narrow them down to just one winner,” said Tom Prisk, commercial manager for Direct Energy.  “However, Quinton Brown’s nomination stood out from the rest because of his admirable mission to provide a welcoming and prospering environment for everyone in his community.”

A special event honoring Quinton Brown will be held at the New Beginnings Worship Center on Wednesday, July 10th, 2013 at 7:00 pm. Representatives from Direct Energy and the Journal Star will be on hand to present Brown with his award. The New Beginnings Worship Center is located at 1716 W. Lincoln Avenue, Peoria, IL 61605.