The David Freyling Community Impact annual award was created in memory of David Freyling.
Mr. Freyling was a veteran and continued to serve his fellow veterans and community in many capacities until his death in 2018. Dave Freyling was the spokesman and emcee for the Cruise 11 event until his death.
The 2023 recipient is Chaplain Marty Watkins. Watkins was presented the award on Sunday, Sept 10 while serving as Master of ceremonies for the Cruise 11 Prayer Service. The award is sponsored by History of the Heartland and Cruise 11 to Remember 9-11.
“I am proud to present this Community Impact Award to Marty Watkins. In our world today we need more people like David Freyling was and Marty Watkins is,” said Ayn Owens, creator of the award. “I watched David Freyling go above and beyond to serve this community and I continue to see Marty step up to the plate to serve our community needs using his unique abilities and positive perspective.”
Watkins is very involved in the community in many aspects which include at the Salvation Army teaching karate lessons, various service groups, Macon County Ethics Commission, buying shoes for children in need, leading prayer and now serving as Chaplain of the Macon County Sheriff’s Department. He has also served as a corrections officer and Macon County auxiliary deputy.
“Our ministry team and other programs operating in the jail are addressing the problem. We have inmates who are truly wanting to change their ways of living and become an asset to our community rather than a liability,” said Watkins when responding about violence in Decatur.
He is a Richland Community College alumnus, disabled Army veteran and has served and continues to serve on several community organization’s boards or commissions. His dedication and volunteerism in Macon County serve as an outstanding reminder that he is about helping people.