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The Tom Hunstad Award for Excellence in Children, Youth and Family Ministry

Past "Tommy" Award Recipients:
 2001  Dr. Roland Martinson
 2002 Rev. Daryl Koenig
 2003 Rev. Kelly Chatman
 2004 Rev. Mike Yaconelli
 2005 Rev. Jane Prestbye
 2006 Rev. Bill Kees
 2007  Susan Pursch
 2008 Faye Belskey
 2009 David Scherer;"Agape"
 2010  Rev. Dr. Dick Hardel 
 2011 Bishop Paul Blom
 2012  Search Institute
 2013 Lisa Jeffries
 2014 Peggy Hahn
 2015 Lost and Found
 2016 Heidi Hagstrom
 2017 Rev. Dennis "Tiger" McLuen

 Rev. Yehiel Curry


 Rev. Larry Wagner

 2020 Deacon Kathy Hunstad
The Story...

When the Network was started, there were many all over the country who were an important part of making it happen. There was energy, excitement and enthusiasm. But it was Tom, who was serving as the chairperson of the first task force, and then the first president of the Network, who emotionally carried the Network on his shoulders, calling people together, casting a wide vision, and making it happen. 

Tom was a youth minister, serving in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and then a pastor, serving at Olivet Lutheran in Fargo, North Dakota and then at Westwood in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

Tom was diagnosed early in 2000 with an aggressive form of cancer. After a short, but courageous battle with the disease, Tom died just before Thanksgiving of that year. He is survived by his wife, Lynn and his 2 children, along with many family members, many friends, and this Network.

To honor Tom, the Network Board created an award, the Tom Hunstad Award for Excellence in Youth and Family Ministry. The award is given annually, by the Network. It is not a “youth minister of the year” award…there are no nominations made.* Rather it is an honor, bestowed on someone by the Network through its board. We select someone that we want to honor and to thank for their service. It is the highest award given in the field of youth and family ministry…as far as we know, it is also the only award given in the field of youth and family ministry.

The 2020 Tommy Award Presentation

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