Not everyone gets to meet Prince Charles, but then, not everyone is Israel Idonije! On Wednesday, May 21, this Chicago Bear received Manitoba's highest honor, the Order of Manitoba, from Prince Charles in an investiture ceremony that took place at the Legislature in Winnipeg.
Established under special legislation, the Order of Manitoba is the province’s highest honor. It recognizes individuals who have "demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavor, benefiting in an outstanding manner the social, cultural or economic well-being of Manitoba and its residents."
Izzy has long been philanthropically bent. His Israel Idonije Foundation, established in 2007, helps to impact and improve the lives of those in underserved communities with programs that focus on social and emotional life skills. The Foundation serves people in Chicago, Winnipeg and West Africa---all of the places he has called home.
On June 10, 2013, Idonije was also awarded the "Humanitarian Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy" by All Sports United, which recognizes one athlete per year that demonstrates exceptional commitment to public service.
Recipients for the Order of Manitoba are selected by an independent advisory council that evaluates all nominations received and then recommends the candidates each year to the chancellor. Once inducted into the order, members may use the initials O.M. after their names for life. What an honor for a special athlete who is always thinking of ways to give back.
Congrats Israel Idonije, O.M.! (Or OMG! :-)
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