Voting is now open for the All Sports United second annual Humanitarian Award. The Humanitarian Award was started last year and is central to the core of ASU’s mission. That mission has two major components: educate and inspire.
ASU founders Scott Manthorne and Alan Pavlosky say the inspiring part of the mission comes from recognizing those that are doing great work and inspiring others to seek that kind of impact. The Humanitarian award was created to bring recognition to those that are doing great work in the sports field. Pro Player Insiders is proud to be one of the campaign sponsors for the 2014 award.
Last year’s winner was Chicago Bear defensive lineman Israel Idonije. Scott and Alan had this to say about Idonije:
“He was our first year winner and he is a really terrific philanthropist. He’s done amazing work both in Chicago and elsewhere. He’s got a number of initiatives he is personally championing but he has had a really strong sustainable foundation and he’s done a really good job and he provides a really sincere effort making an impact in his community.
So we recognized [Idonije] based on the fact that he’s a standout in philanthropy and always has been. So he was very justifiably our first winner of the Humanitarian Award.”
Idonije was born in Lagos, Nigeria but moved with his family to Brandon, Manitoba, Canada when he was four years old. He started his foundation called the Israel Idonije Foundation (IIF) in 2007. Since 2008, Team IIF has engaged in annual humanitarian trips to Western Africa to run youth sports empowerment camps. It is also involved in after school programs for children and hosts football camps for underprivileged children in both Chicago and Winnipeg.
“The Israel Idonije Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization, committed to impacting underserved communities by providing programs focused on social and emotional life skills.”
The ASU nominations for this award were open to the public but nominations are ended now and voting for the finalists has begun. The team wants fans engaged to help share the great philanthropic work that’s being done by people in the sports community. Also public voting helps ASU learn what charity work people think is most meaningful. The voting will narrow the nominees to the top 10 that will then move into the final round. The finalist will be determined by a selection committee of participants in the sports philanthropic community.
This year’s campaign, now dubbed the “All Stars of Giving Challenge,” will utilize an enhanced social media campaign created in partnership with Givkwik, a mission driven technology firm based in San Francisco. Fans will be encouraged to vote over multiple rounds in order to narrow down the field of possible winners to ten finalists, called the “All Stars of Giving.” Fans can also share news of their votes on social media as well as contribute their own funds to increase the size of the financial prizes for the favorite nonprofit organizations of the ten “All Stars.”
All Sports United expects to receive over one hundred nominations from many of the fifty-four recognized sports in the United States, expanding awareness of sports philanthropy and celebrating the contributions of all athletes. Last year’s campaign received over 150,000 votes cast by fans through social media and the inaugural award was presented on June 9, 2013 to then-Chicago Bears defensive lineman Israel Idonije. The Israel Idonije Foundation was awarded a $100,000 media grant courtesy of the PVBLIC Foundation to fund ongoing media campaigns to raise awareness and raise funds.
“For years, sports personalities have graced the news with stories of excellence, but in recent years, scandal and defeat seem more likely to grab headlines,” said Manthorne. “By recognizing the efforts of deserving sports philanthropists, we can bring more positive news, highlighting the amazing work of athletes and promoting best practices for athletes’ foundations.”
“The end result,” adds Pavlosky, “will be that countless lives will be affected in a positive way by leveraging the platform of professional sports.”
We will announce the finalist and keep you posted on voting results so be sure to check back for further details and information.
Your votes will decide the final 10 All Stars. You may vote up to 3 times per day. Voting ends May 15, 2014.
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