Last Thursday singer Jon Bon Jovi was named as one of three winners of the 2015 Common Wealth Award of Distinguished Service for his ongoing charitable work with the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation in Philadelphia. The honor, now 36 years old, will be presented at an event on April 25. Bon Jovi will be awarded $75,000.
The JBJ Soul Foundation, founded in 2006, combines the efforts of Bon Jovi and other celebrity owners of the Philadelphia Soul Arena Football Team to use their influence to help the surrounding community. The Foundation’s mission—“to recognize the human potential in those affected by poverty and homelessness”—has manifested itself in the establishment of programs that provide food and housing for those in need, as well as supporting social services and job training programs.
The Foundation raised more than $200,000 to help local charities in its first year and has continued the trend to the present, including providing more than 34,000 meals in 2012 and assisting with Hurricane Sandy recovery in the same year.
Bon Jovi and the others involved in creating and running the Foundation have a clear desire to incorporate the energy of a sports team and its fans to do good for the community, both on a local and national level. Players, dance team members, management, and staff have all contributed to the mission and are dedicated to being positive role models.
In addition to Bon Jovi, the Common Wealth Award will be given to actor Edward Norton and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Vales. Previous winners include Martin Sheen, Alan Alda, and Madeleine Albright.