Kristi Yamaguchi to Receive Legacy for Children Award


Kristi Yamaguchi and her daughters.

SAN JOSE — The Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose will present the 2011 Legacy for Children Award 2011 to Kristi Yamaguchi on Friday, April 15, at 6 p.m. at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, Ballroom A.

The Olympic figure skating champion has inspired people everywhere with her style and skill on ice. Having fulfilled many of her own dreams, Yamaguchi now seeks to help other children fulfill their dreams through her Always Dream Foundation. In her own words:

“The motto ‘Always Dream’ has served as my personal inspiration for many years. It is my constant reminder to dream big, never lose sight of my goals, and strive to become a better person. It is fitting that my own charity be named the Always Dream Foundation.”

The foundation recognizes the importance of giving back to one’s community, and aims to have a positive impact on the lives of children. Because of Yamaguchi’s dedication and inspiration, the foundation has positively affected children in many ways, from conducting skating parties for at-risk children’s groups and providing computers and mattresses for children in need, to building a universal design playground and supporting summer camp for children with disabilities.

In addition to achieving the gold medal at the 1992 Olympics, Yamaguchi also won two World Figure Skating Championships and a U.S. Figure Skating Championship. In recent years, she has served as the local figure skating commentator during the 2006 Winter Olympics, and danced her way to celebrity championship during the sixth season of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

She is now a children’s author as well, having just published a book called “Dream Big, Little Pig.” Proceeds will go to support her foundation and its early childhood literacy initiative.

Individual tickets are $250; tables for 10 range from $2,500 to $25,000. For more information, call (408) 298-5437, ext. 202 or email [email protected]

The Legacy for Children Award honors an individual or organization whose work has significantly benefited the learning and lives of children, thereby helping focus Silicon Valley’s attention on the needs of its children and encouraging everyone to take responsibility for their well-being. Candidates are nominated by a committee of notable community members involved in children’s education, health care, human and social services, and the arts.

Previous recipients:

Dr. Sally Ride, first woman in space and CEO of Sally Ride Science (2010)

Alonzo Mourning, founder of AM Charities (2009)

Ronnie Lott, football legend and founder of All Stars Helping Kids (2008)

T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., renowned pediatrician (2007)

John Cassidy, co-founder of Klutz Press (2006)

Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), author and illustrator (2005)

Bil Keane, award-winning cartoonist of “The Family Circus” (2004)

Caroll Spinney, puppeteer of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on “Sesame Street” (2003)

Rob Reiner, actor/director/activist, and the I Am Your Child Foundation (2001)

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation (2000)

Mister Fred Rogers (1999)