Oliver Ruff, Laura Wynn, Anthony King, Philina King (no relation), Riian Wynn, and Dave Bowen.Photo by Genie Lemieux/Evanston Photographic

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The Justin Wynn Fund held its First Annual Red Tie Gala on Feb. 13 at the Peckish Pig. The packed house enjoyed live music, delicious food, and a great selection of silent auction items. In addition, the late Steve King was honored as the Buddy Portugal Award winner. The Justin Wynn Fund Board presented the award to his wife, Philina King.

The Board created the Buddy Portugal Award in 2002 to recognize adults who have made outstanding contributions to Evanston’s youth. Throughout his career and personal life Mr. King always had a place in his heart for educating, mentoring and giving back to children and young adults. At the time of his death, he was an assistant football coach at Evanston Township High School and the sports and family manager at the McGaw Y.

The Justin Wynn Fund was established in 1987 in loving memory of Justin Michael Wynn, who died in a swimming accident when he was 9 years old. From this tragedy, the Wynn family and friends founded The Justin Wynn Fund and later the Justin Wynn Leadership Academy with the mission “to celebrate and nurture youth leaders by helping them develop a deep sense of self and responsibility for improving their communities.”