MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) - A man who loved his hometown continues to offer his support in a big way -- even after death.
Fred Cook of Murphysboro, Illinois passed away in January 2015 at the age of 61.
His cousin, Pat Cook, describes Fred as a down-to-earth guy who loved his hometown. That love survives even a year after Fred's death.
"He was very he liked to do things for his town, and he was a very wonderful young man," said Pat Cook.
Friday, Fred Cook's estate dolled out $270,000 to six non-profit groups in Murphysboro and the surrounding area. Each received a check for $45,000.
"I had only told two of them what they amount of it was," said Pat Cook. "So when I handed them the checks the looks on their faces – it was worth every penny."
The Murphysboro Apple Festival, Friends of Murphysboro, Murphysboro Food Pantry, St. Francis C.A.R.E., Humane Society, and the John A. Logan Museum were all beneficiaries of Fred Cook's final act of good will toward his community.
"That is the largest single donation we've ever received," said Diane Daugherty with St. Francis C.A.R.E. "I didn't know him, I wish I would have, but I want to say god bless you Mr. Fred Cook because this is huge for us."
"It was a big shock," said Sarah Junk with the Friends of Murphysboro group. "I was almost in tears this morning when Pat called me so it's very appreciated for our organization."
"We just hope that he started a precedent and that other people will think of the Apple Festival and the John A. Logan Museum and the Friends of Murphysboro and all the other things that go on in our community that are so wonderful," said Ken Carr with the Apple Festival organization.