Up close with Kristi Yamaguchi

Kristi Yamaguchi's "Dancing the Night Away":
A one-night-only dinner/ballroom dancing extravaganza titled Kristi Yamaguchi's "Dancing the Night Away" will showcase an all-star cast of participants from ABC's popular "Dancing With The Stars" television show. All ballroom dancing performances will be performed live to the Bay Area's renowned Dick Bright Orchestra.Your support of this event will help build Always Dream Playpark, an extraordinary place where all children, including those confronting the challenges of a disability, can play together and learn from each other.

Date: Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Venue: Hyatt Regency (Grand Ballroom) in San Francisco

Time: 6:00pm to 9:00pm

Proceeds from Kristi Yamaguchi's "Dancing the Night Away" event will benefit the "Always Dream PlayPark" which breaks ground for construction this summer in Yamaguchi's hometown of Fremont, CA. The park will create a play area for children of all abilities with a focus on physical as well as mental development through a diversity of play experiences - and - is also a gathering place for the entire community. The design aims to incorporate natural elements and provide an eco-friendly, engaging, and interactive environment.

About Always Dream Foundation:
Founded in 1996 as a 501c (3), Non-Profit, Public Charity, Kristi Yamaguchi's Always Dream Foundation was established to support organizations that have a positive influence on children. Since its inception, the Always Dream Foundation has purchased computers for an after-school mentoring program, provided "shopping sprees" for underprivileged children to purchase back-to-school clothing, organized Holiday parties for children's shelters and sponsored summer camp for kids with disabilities.

For more information, visit www.alwaysdream.org

Abotu Kristi Yamaguchi:
Kristi Yamaguchi is an Olympic Gold Medalist; two-time World Champion, U.S. National Champion and a four-time World Profession Champion. She was one of the first U.S. women to compete in both pairs' events and ladies' singles and win pairs titles in 1989 and 1990. She and her partner, Rudy Galindo, were the 1988 World Junior Pairs Champions. Kristi also won the Junior Ladies Title that same year. Kristi also was the first American to win the Olympic Gold Medal since Dorothy Hamill in 1976. Later, as a professional, she won four titles and was honored as 1996 Skater of the Year by American Skating World. Kristi was named to the U.S. Hall of Fame by the United States Figure Skating Association and to the World Skating Hall of Fame in 1999. On December 8, 2005, Kristi was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Committee Olympic Hall of Fame. This is particularly a huge honor for Kristi.

From the fall of 1992 through 2002, Kristi enjoyed a long and successful career with Stars On Ice. She was able to tour with some of her closest friends such as Scott Hamilton, Kurt Browning and Katia Gordeeva. After a year off from touring with Stars on Ice, Kristi returned as a special guest star in limited engagements in the 2003-2004 tour.

In the fall and winter of 2002, Kristi performed in the following televised skating shows: Kodak's Salute to Gold (NBC), Divas on Ice, (NBC) and Holiday Special with Charlotte Church (NBC). Kristi also hosted her own television special, Salute to American Music, which aired on NBC in November 2003. This was her first public appearance since the birth of her first child.

During the 2004 season, Kristi starred in various televised skating shows including: Katarina Witt and Friends, Brian Boitano's Skating Spectacular, Holiday Celebration on Ice, Hyundai's Tribute to the Movies on Ice and her own television special, Salute to American Music, which aired on NBC for the second year in a row. Kristi also competed in CBS's primetime professional skating competition, Ice Wars.

In 2002, Kristi was named as the official Goodwill Ambassador for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, a role she cherishes because of her gratitude to the Olympic Games. Kristi also performed in the Opening and Closing ceremonies of these Games.

Kristi continues to star in her own television special for NBC. Kristi Yamaguchi, Friends and Family, aired on November 25, 2007 on NBC.

Kristi's Olympic victory encouraged millions of young American girls to strive for something better and 'always dream.' She has authored two book projects, Figure Skating for Dummies and Kristi Yamaguchi, Always Dream. Yamaguchi has been chosen favorite female athlete among adult fans by ESPN and Favorite Female Athlete by Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards in 1997 and 1998. In addition to her busy skating schedule and various commercial and charitable ventures, Kristi found time for love. Her July 2000 wedding to NHL star Bret Hedican drew hundreds of friends to Big Island in Hawaii. Kristi and Bret split their time among Raleigh, NC, San Francisco and Minnesota where she enjoys relaxing and spending time with her family. She and her husband welcomed their first child, daughter Keara, on October 1, 2003. Their second daughter, Emma Yoshiko Hedican, was born on November 17, 2005.

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