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Two honored for community service

Hecky Powell and James Fuller have received Real M.M.E.N. (Men Meeting Evanston’s Needs) awards at a fundraising event at Evanston Township High School.

The event was organized by the family of the late Joe "Butch" Martin, who’d been administrator of buildings and grounds at the school, to raise funds for an endowment in his memory at the Evanston Community Foundation.

More than 75 relatives and friends attended the session on Saturday, Sept. 11, in the Terrace Room at ETHS.

Martin’s widow, Denise, said the award to Powell, a lifelong Evanston resident, recognized his devotion to his community and its people. Martin’s son Joe said Powell, the owner of Hecky’s Barbecue, has sponsored sports teams, provided food for reading students at ETHS who achieve a specific goal, mentors young businesspeople and community leaders and provides employment opportunities for many residents.

Fuller, who died just days after the event, received the award in recognition of his dedication to his family and others in need. He was a taxi cab driver in Evanston for over fifty years. Through hard work and personal sacrifice he invested in real estate and owned property in Evanston and Chicago. Denise Martin says Fuller “was a generous, caring role model who put the needs of others above his own. He contributed toward the college tuition of members of his extended family, paid back taxes for the elderly and provided a place to stay for family and friends in need.

The Joe “Butch” Martin Fund of the Evanston Community Foundation reflects Mr. Martin’s philosophy by supporting local nonprofit organizations that provide direct services to African American males, senior citizens and children.

Foundation board member and treasurer Kevin Mott reported at the event that in 2010 the Martin Fund supported a grant to the Evanston School Children’s Clothing Association (ESCCA) to provide winter boots for students in need.

The Joe “Butch” Martin Fund is administered by the Evanston Community Foundation with input from the Martin family. The Evanston Community Foundation was established in 1986 to help Evanston thrive now and forever as a vibrant, inclusive, and just community.

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