John “Jack” Ferns lived much of his life serving others. He found great pleasure coaching, volunteering, and supporting his community in many ways. Some of these contributions included Holy Name CYO basketball coach, coach and chief umpire in the Glocester Little and Senior League, Ponaganset recreation basketball coach, a member of the Shamrock Society in North Providence, Finnegan Council 111, the Knights of Columbus, and past president and a 30-year member of the Glocester Lions Club.
Jack’s volunteerism continued as his sons entered Ponaganset High School. He first helped coach and raise funds for the newly created freshman basketball team in 1983, then assisted the junior varsity team as they won the state title in 1985. He served as treasurer of the basketball boosters club, and treasurer and board member of the Brian Fell Memorial Scholarship Committee. After both his sons graduated from Ponaganset, he also remained a volunteer assistant coach for the varsity basketball team through 1995. This included the 1989-1990 State Class C Championship team.
In 1996 he received the Brian Fell Memorial Scholarship committee’s first Outstanding Volunteer Award. Five years later, this recognition was renamed the “Jack Ferns Volunteer Booster Award.” It is presented to those exceptional individuals whose commitment, dedication, time, and effort greatly enhance Chieftain athletics and the lives of the student athletes.