The Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island has announced that Gene Martin and Norris Richardson will be inducted into the Hilton Head Island Hall of Fame in a ceremony Nov. 8 at the Sonesta Resort.

The Hall of Fame was initiated in 2012 by the Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island as a gift to the community to acknowledge innovative and community-minded island residents, past and present.

Gene Martin created the Hilton Head Island value of corporate volunteerism by literally “giving the store away.” After taking over the Red & White Supermarket in Coligny Plaza in 1969, his name quickly became synonymous with “giving” and “yes.”

Martin’s unheralded donations of food to numerous community programs, schools, PTAs, holiday food baskets and distressed individuals set a tone for Hilton Head and set a high bar for those who followed.

The hard work, vision and entrepreneurial spirit of Hilton Head Island business pioneer James Norris Richardson (1914-2001) did more than create from nothing a town center and “downtown.” The expansion of what was to become Coligny Plaza served as building blocks for a fledgling community, giving it a family focus and setting the table for other entrepreneurs to thrive.

Selection of Hall of Fame honorees is made by an anonymous group of long-time community leaders who are not members of the Rotary Club. Inductees are honored with bronze plaques installed at the Hilton Head Hall of Fame site at the Coastal Discovery Museum on Honey Horn Plantation.

Previous inductees are:

2012: Charles Fraser, Fred Hack, Charlotte Heinrichs, Charles Simmons Sr.

2013: Tom Barnwell, Billie Hack

2014: Ben Racussin

2015: Dr. Peter LaMotte, Dr. Jack McConnell

2016: Emory Campbell, Caroline “Beany” Newhall

2017: John Curry, Isaac Wilborn

The Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island will host a buffet luncheon and induction ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 8 at the Sonesta Resort, at which time the honorees and their family members will be recognized and the bronze plaque to be installed at Honey Horn Plantation will be presented.

Members of the community are welcome and encouraged to attend. Cost for lunch is $20 per person. Checks can be made payable to Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island and mailed to P.O. Box 5771, Hilton Head Island, SC 29938, or payment can be made online at Deadline for reservations is Nov. 2.

The Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island, a local service organization, has more than 150 women and men members involved in local and international service projects, fulfilling the club’s motto of “Service Above Self.”

For more information, visit or contact Hank Noble, Hall of Fame committee chair, at or 843-815-6014.