4th Annual OWIN Foundation Fundraising Gala in Los Angeles, organized by NFL – Oakland Raiders star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha
Oakland Raiders star cornerback recently hosted the 4th Annual OWIN Foundation Fundraising Gala in Los Angeles. “Development, Africa and You: Erasing Poverty Through Education” was highlighted as the 2010 event theme.
Nnamdi Asomugha, a champion on and off the football field, has brought a wealth of experience and leadership to OWIN as Chair of the Board of Directors of the organization. After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Corporate Finance, he was drafted by the Oakland Raiders and went on to become a 3-time NFL Pro Bowl Athlete. After several successful playing seasons, in February 2009, Asomugha was offered a $45.3 million three-year contract, which made him the highest paid defensive back in NFL history.
With education and community service as his focus off the field, Asomugha’s humanitarianism has been an asset to the Board of OWIN, and he has been recognized for his philanthropic efforts. In 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Service Award for his commitment to public service, and in 2009 he was an invited guest of former President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Foundation Global Initiative University.
The 4th Annual OWIN Foundation Fundraising Gala event drew an enthusiastic crowd of VIP guests who were eager to support a great cause: Orphans and Widows in Need (OWIN). Asomugha hosted the event along with his mother Dr. Lillian Asomugha, Founder and President of the OWIN Foundation, as well as other OWIN board members. Among the honored guests that evening were NBA great and former Los Angeles Lakers star A.C. Green, who was the event’s keynote speaker, and 2010 OWIN Humanitarian Service Award recipient Rev. Andrew Bales, CEO of the Union Rescue Mission.
Known as the NBA’s “Iron Man” for having played in 1,192 straight games, A.C. Green is also a champion off the basketball court and is dedicated to working with youth. His passion for mentoring youth eventually led him to establish the A.C. Green Youth Foundation in 1989.
As the CEO of the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles, Rev. Andrew “Andy” Bales has received many awards and honors for his community service and brings over 25 years of experience in community outreach and service as he leads the organization’s efforts to continue its history of commitment to the Los Angeles’ homeless community.
In support of orphans and widows in Africa, the gala included a live and silent auction, in which guests bid on several items, including authentic African artwork, jewelry, and autographed sports memorabilia from NFL and NBA stars. After dinner, guests were also treated to a lively performance by the Akalaka Dance Troupe, who were warmly received by the crowd.
Established in 2005, OWIN Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to providing aid to orphans and widows in Nigeria and throughout Africa by providing educational, financial, medical and spiritual support to those most in need. OWIN Foundation aims to empower victims of abuse, poverty and neglect with programs that provide vocational training, healthcare education, and spiritual enrichment. Since its inception, OWIN Foundation has proudly helped over 5,000 orphans and widows. For more information please visit www.owinfoundation.org.
Photo credit: Jay Lawrence Goldman (studio photos), Oakland Raiders (playing photos), and OWIN Foundation (event photos)
By Ngozi Mba for Golden Icons