Jackie Robinson Foundation honoring Jon Bon Jovi

Wife Dorothea, Ariel Investments Co-Chief Executive Officer John W. Rogers Jr., and Kendra L. Gather ’98 also honored at 2020 ROBIE Awards Dinner

Jon Bon Jovi is among the recipients being honored by The Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) at the 2020 ROBIE Awards during its annual Awards Dinner on Monday, March 2nd at the New York Marriott Marquis. The event pays tribute to individuals who embody the humanitarian ideals of Jackie Robinson while raising funds for the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

For 47 years, JRF has provided generous four-year scholarships, year-round mentoring and leadership development opportunities to talented college students known as JRF Scholars. The opening of the Jackie Robinson Museum later this year will expand the Foundation’s mission and will educate and inspire the public about the life and legacy of American hero Jackie Robinson.

Bon Jovi and wife Dorthea will receive the Foundation’s ROBIE Humanitarian Award for their extraordinary efforts to break the cycle of poverty, hunger and homelessness through the JBJ Soul Foundation. John W. Rogers, Jr., Co-CEO of Ariel Investments, will receive the ROBIE Achievement in Industry Award for his pioneering achievements as the founder of Ariel Capital Management (now Ariel Investments, LLC), the largest minority-run mutual fund firm, and his commitment to expanding opportunities to those underrepresented in the corporate sector. Kendra Gaither will receive The Martin L. Edelman Prize bestowed each year upon a JRF alumnus who has exhibited professional distinction and exemplary service to society.

ABC News anchor T.J. Holmes will serve as host for the event while Dancing with the Stars music director Ray Chew and recording artist Sheila E. will headline entertainment for the evening.

“Each one of these honorees has impacted society not only through extraordinary professional accomplishments, but through a commitment to equal opportunity and contributions to underserved communities,” states JRF president Della Britton Baeza. “We are proud to pay tribute to this group of influential people who honor the legacy of Jackie Robinson and serve as stellar role models for our Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars and Extra Innings Fellows.”

The ROBIE Awards Dinner has recognized many of the most celebrated names in business, politics, education, media, sports and the arts, including Henry L. “Hank” Aaron, Clive Davis, George Lucas, J.W. Marriott, Jr., Henry L. “Skip” Gates, Rita Moreno, Tyler Perry, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Jessye Norman, Stephen Ross, Robin Roberts, Arthur Ashe, Kenneth and Mamie Clark, Paul Tagliabue, Ruth J. Simmons, Robert F. Smith and Stevie Wonder.

2020 ROBIE Awards Dinner sponsors include Henry & Billye Aaron, Allen & Company, BNY Mellon, Martin Edelman, General Electric, Gregg Gonsalves, Arthur Hayes, Johnson & Johnson, Philip Knight, Major League Baseball, NBA, New Era Cap Company, Nike, Inc., Omnicom Group Inc., Joseph Perella, Praxair, Inc., Related Companies, Salamander Resort & Spa, Unilever, Ariel Investments, BMO, Cowen Inc., Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs, Jose Rivera, Senator Investment Group LP, Shawn Smeallie, Jeffrey & Susan Sussman, The Coca-Cola Company, Turner Broadcasting System, WarnerMedia

Self-reliance, optimism, and community are key concepts that define Jon Bon Jovi’s music and charitable efforts. The frontman for the Grammy Award-winning band Bon Jovi has not only written and performed countless rock anthems, he has utilized his spotlight and raised millions of dollars to aid the working poor, the homeless, and the hungry. After selling more than 130 million albums and performing in over 50 countries for more than 40 million fans, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in recognition of their longevity and impact on popular music for the past three decades. Jon is also a member of the songwriter’s hall of fame.

Jon is also the Chairman of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing about positive change and helping those in need “one SOUL at a time.” The Foundation funds partnerships that address the issues of food and shelter. Since its inception in 2006, the JBJSF has provided over 700 units of affordable and supportive housing in 11 states. Adding to these efforts, is the recently opened Walter Reed veterans housing facility which opened in October 2019, giving homes to 77 previously homeless veterans along with a stable of support services on site. In October 2011, Jon along with his wife Dorothea, opened the first JBJ Soul Kitchen nonprofit community restaurant in Red Bank, NJ. There, they created a pay-it-forward model, that serves an in-need and paying customer. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, they opened a second location in Toms River, NJ. These community restaurants have since served over 100,000 meals. In January 2020, the JBJ Soul Foundation opened a first of its kind kitchen on the Newark campus of Rutgers University to serve college students challenged by food insecurity.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.