Recently, some of Chicago’s elite came out for “An Evening With the Israel Idonije Foundation” event held at the Trump International Hotel’s Grand Ballroom and Foyer. The purpose of the event was to celebrate the Israel Idonije Foundation’s mission and successes.
Hennessy and Michigan Avenue Magazine partnered with IIF for this year’s fundraiser support of the foundation and its programs that have been a benefit to youth in underserved communities since 2007. The sponsors for the evening were Bank of America and Formula Four. In order to keep providing quality programs for youth throughout Chicago and globally, these type of events are critical for raising financial and interest-based support.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel enlightened the crowd with a touching story about Israel “Izzy” Idonije’s values being cultivated by his parents before introducing him as the host for the evening. “If you spend just five minutes with his father and his mother, you know exactly where [Idonije’s] values come from,” said Emanuel.
“The Israel Idonije Foundation exists because of the incredible support of partners and individuals who know the importance of investing in young people,” said Idonije, who started the foundation in his garage.
“This fundraiser celebrates them and their commitment to our mission. Once upon a time I was just like one of the kids in the neighborhoods around us. I had dreams and goals just like they do. An anonymous sponsor provided an after-school membership to the local YMCA for me and my siblings. and it made a huge impact in my life.”
Chicago Bears All-Pro wide receiver Brandon Marshall received the Humanitarian of the Year Award for his commitment to mental health education.
“Izzy, this really isn’t about me, it’s really about you and I promise you guys, I would not be standing here if it wasn’t for Izzy,” said Marshall.
Check out the gallery below.
*photos courtesy of Onasis Delmo