Tuckeys to receive annual Musgrove Evans Award
The Musgrove Evans Award recognizes Tecumseh residents who are active in and connected with the community. Past recipients of the award select the current year’s recipients, and for 2014, former Musgrove Evans Award winners decided Joe and Sherri Tuckey represent the best of the community.
The Tuckeys are both lifelong residents of Tecumseh, as well as being committed to the community. They show their love of community through their business, Tecumseh Big Boy, as well as their volunteer work.
“They are a very very deserving couple,” said Vicki Philo, Executive Director of Tecumseh Chamber of Commerce. “They just do a ton for different organizations in Tecumseh. A lot goes on behind the scenes with them that people don’t know about.”
“It all comes down to how we were brought up,” Joe said. “Joe and Jenny Mannino and my mom and dad were all about community.”
“Joe and Jenny were awesome teachers for us,” Sherri said.
Like previous recipients, the Tuckeys feel their community activity is nothing out of the ordinary and not worthy of award recognition. “We were shocked,” Joe said. “It was so nice to be recognized.”
“The Musgrove Evans Award is quite an honor,” said Sherri.
The Big Boy restaurant provides many opportunities for the couple to help and give back to the community. “We do a lot of charitable work through the restaurant,” said Joe.
Joe and his brother were active with the restaurant while it was still owned by their parents and the Manninos. “We both started working with my dad at his restaurant in Ypsilanti before the Tecumseh Big Boy opened,” Joe said.
When Joe became a full-time firefighter for the Tecumseh Fire Department in 1990, he turned over his job running the Big Boy to Sherri. “I still do odd jobs here and there,” he said.
The biggest way Joe and Sherri give back to the community through the Big Boy is through donations to area churches. When patrons come in with a discount, they have the option of receiving the discount themselves or giving the discount to a church of their choice.
The program was started by the Big Boy organization, and after it was discontinued, the Tuckeys decided to keep the giving going. The donations from the discounts are dispersed quarterly to churches, and add up to about $10,000 every year.
“It’s a nice way for our customers to help their churches and it’s nice for us,” said Sherri. “We appreciate the Tecumseh community. They are like family to us.”
Besides their work at the restaurant and Joe’s job as chief of the Tecumseh Fire Department, Joe and Sherri are active in other groups in Tecumseh. Both work with Communities in Schools of the Tecumseh Area (CISTA), Sherri as the co-chair and Joe as a volunteer.
Sherri is also the treasurer for the Tecumseh Chamber of Commerce. Her goal is to focus her work in the community.
“If I’m going to do it, I want to do a good job,” she said.
Joe currently serves as the employee representative for the City of Tecumseh Retirement Board. He is a member of the Lenawee County Fire Chief Executive Board, the Emergency Telephone District Board, the Lenawee County Medical Control Board, and the Lenawee County Training Committee.
Joe and Sherri have two children, Erin and Joseph, who help out with the restaurant. “We became more involved in the community after our kids were out of school,” Sherri said.
The idea of being active in the community and working to make a better life for everyone is something Joe and Sherri emphasize to both their children. “We are not here for the money,” said Joe. “We will continue to help out wherever we can.”
“Tecumseh is in our blood,” Sherri said. “I can’t imagine living anywhere else. We love living here.”
The date for the 2014 Musgrove Evans Award dinner has not been set, but Philo said the goal is to move the annual event to September.