Denise Martin with award recipients (left to right) Joe Martin lll, Dino Robinson, and Kenneth Rodgers.Photo Heidi Randhava

Evanston news delivered free to your inbox! 

Three generations of Joe Martin’s family were among those who celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Joe “Butch” Martin (JBM) fund on Sept. 9 in the Terrace at Evanston Township High School. Each year since 2008, the memorial fund has presented Real M.M.E.N. (Men Meeting Evanston’s Needs) awards to African American males who reflect Mr. Martin’s philosophy of sharing whatever he had with those in need.

The 2017 Real M.M.E.N. awards went to Morris “Dino” Robinson, Jr., production coordinator at Northwestern University Press and Founder and Director of Shorefront Legacy Center, and Kenneth Rodgers, a former teacher and retired mechanical engineer who currently serves as an advisor for the National Association of Black Engineers.

Mr. Robinson received the award “for leading the vanguard in preserving and sharing the history of Black Americans of the North Shore.” Mr. Rodgers was recognized “for his never wavering commitment to young people of color.”

This year, the Martin family presented a third award to Joseph “Joe” Martin III, who established the JBM fund to honor his father’s legacy of selflessly helping others by providing grants to nonprofit organizations that enhance the lives of everyday people.

The fund awarded its 2017 grant to She Is Code, a nonprofit organization developed by mother-daughter duo Tonya and Drew Patterson to increase the number of young women in technology by creating opportunities for youth to learn in ways that are engaging and fun. She Is Code co-founder Drew Patterson is currently a sophomore at ETHS.

Heidi Randhava

Heidi Randhava is an award winning reporter who has a deep commitment to community engagement and service. She has written for the Evanston RoundTable since 2016.