An accomplished children’s book author and mom, Kristi’s passion for reading ignited our Foundation’s commitment to early childhood literacy. In 2012, we launched Always Reading as our core program and continuously work to connect children with e-books and technology in both the classroom and through community events

Dream Makers

Kristi Yamaguchi, ADF Founder/Head Dream Maker

Kristi is a wife, mother, Olympic Gold Medalist, author and philanthropist. “All the athletic glory and honors are wonderful. But sometimes I come face-to-face with a disadvantaged child or with a struggling mother or father, and I am grateful for my gifts. And I rededicate myself to doing whatever I can to help someone in need. The good feeling I get rivals anything I felt on the Olympic stand in Albertville.”

Favorite children’s book: E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web”

Lisa Marie Gonzales, ADF Board President

Lisa is Superintendent of the Portola Valley School District, as well as State Vice President of Legislative Action for the Association of California School Administrators. She spent the past 20 years in public education, as a math and science teacher, mentor, elementary school principal and STEAM director. She also served as Vice President of the Silicon Valley Education Foundation.

Favorite children’s book: John Fitzgerald’s “The Great Brain” series

Jennifer Lee, ADF Board Vice President

Jennifer is the Co-Founder/Vice President/Executive Director of Elim Care, Inc., which specializes in the care ofindividuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Jennifer is a wife and mother o three, and devotes her time to the welfare of her family and her clients in fundraising for community service organizations.

Favorite children’s book:Robert Kraus’ “Little Louie the Baby Bloomer”

Bradford L. Anderson, ADF Board Treasurer

Brad is the Chief Executive Officer of Fremont Bank. He joined the bank in 1980, working his way up from brand manager and loan officer to being responsible for sales, marketing, lending and online banking, as well as serving as a Bank Director.

Favorite children’s book: TK’s “TK”

Bridget Cunningham, ADF Board Member

Bridget brings more than 20 years of marketing and media experience to the ADF board. Currently, she is a marketing communications project manager for Bio-Rad Laboratories, managing asset creation for global product launches. Prior to Bio-Rad, Bridget led marketing strategy, partnerships and engagement for San Francisco magazine as its Director, Brand Marketing/New Business Development, and for Diablo magazine as its Marketing Director.

Favorite children’s book: Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree”

Bret Hedican, ADF Board Member

Bret is a two-time Olympian and played 17 years in the National Hockey League (NHL), winning the Stanley Cup in 2006. Currently, Bret is a hockey analyst for Comcast Sportsnet California, covering the NHL and the San Jose Sharks. He also helps with the USA Women’s Olympic Team as an assistant coach. In 2011 he started his own licensing company, E360 Global, and is the co-founder of Rosterbot.com and Tsu.ya by Kristi Yamaguchi. Bret’s wife, Olympic Gold Medalist Kristi Yamaguchi, and their two daughters, Keara and Emma, are his highest priority.

Favorite children’s book: J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series

Andrew Kaufteil, ADF Board Member

Andrew brings more than 10 years of nonprofit management experience to the ADF board. Currently the Executive Director of Alumni Relations for University of California, San Francisco, Andrew previously worked for University of California, Berkeley, the George Washington University and Edelman Public Relations. Andrew also spends his time volunteering with the Association of Fundraising Professionals and singing with San Francisco a cappella group Scales of the City-an organization he founded.

Matt Ogawa, ADF Board Member

Matt is a Director of Global Human Resources at Gap, Inc., where he focuses on organizational design and effectiveness, change management, employee relations and engagement. He is also the Co-President of Gap, Inc.’s Asian Pacific Islander Employee Resource Group. When not working, Matt can be found performing with the professional Japanese drum ensemble San Jose Taiko.

Favorite children’s book: Margaret Wise Brown’s “Good Night Moon”

Jan Yanehiro, ADF Board Member

Jan pioneered the magazine format on television as co-host of San Francisco’s highly acclaimed “Evening Magazine.” Currently, she is the Director of the School of Multimedia Communications at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco. Jan has won multiple awards including an Emmy and the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award, she is the mother of six and an author.

“I loved reading “Momotaro,” “peach boy” in Japanese, to my kids.”

Dean Osaki, ADF Co-Founder

Dean Osaki’s professional insights and perspective comes from a diverse background in community relations, sports and corporate philanthropy, cause-related marketing, branding, fundraising and management of non-profits.

Currently serving as a consultant, his past experiences include, Campaign Director of United Way in Silicon Valley, Co-Founder and Executive Director for Kristi’s Always Dream Foundation, Director of Marketing for the Examiner and Target, Manager Community Relations, Western & Southwest Regions.

Favorite Children’s Book: Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham”

Lori Yamaguchi, ADF Executive Director

Lori is the Executive Director of the Always Dream Foundation. She spent several years on the Board of Directors before taking on the Executive Director role in July 2011. Prior to her directorship at the Always Dream Foundation, Lori spent 16 years at Franklin Templeton Investments, most recently as the Director of Global Financial Operations. Lori’s two young daughters serve as her inspiration for ensuring other children are provided with opportunities to succeed in life.

Favorite children’s book: Roald Dahl’s “James and The Giant Peach”


Bret Hedican and Ronnie Lott lend their support at the first Foundation fundraising event, Skates in the Park, in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

Bay Area kids and more than a few adults sign up to in-line skate with Kristi and a star-studded lineup of skaters including Scott Hamilton, Ronnie Lott and Peggy Fleming. Each participant had raised funds in order to register for the event.

Skates in the Park II, also held in Golden Gate Park, raises thousands for Bay Area children’s charities.

Mervyn’s California, Celanese Acetate and Franklin Templeton help underwrite the 1996 and 1997 events.

The Foundation proudly launches its support of Girls Incorporated of Alameda County with a holiday celebration and a gift of computer work-stations.

Girls Incorporated is a national nonprofit youth organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Dating back to 1864, Girls Inc. has provided vital educational programs to millions of American girls, particularly those in high-risk, underserved areas.

The third annual Skates in the Park fundraising event is held at Paramount’s Great America in Santa Clara, California. The net proceeds are distributed to pre-selected Bay Area children’s organizations, providing more than $100,000 through the Fulfilling Dreams grant-making initiative.

From 1998 to 2005, the Foundation hosts an annual holiday party for Bay Area children’s organizations at the Kristi Yamaguchi Holiday Rink in San Francisco’s Embarcadero Center. The day includes a skating clinic with Kristi, a pizza party and a holiday gift-giving program—complete with Santa and a cast of elves that included Kristi and Foundation volunteers.

While never losing sight of its core commitment to children, the Foundation forms the first of what will be two alliances to raise awareness and funds to support the fight against breast cancer. The first is with the American Cancer Society. Called A Golden Moment, it is a figure-skating concert on ice produced by the Foundation and aired on national television.

With funds raised by A Golden Moment, the Foundation makes a $100,000 gift to the American Cancer Society.

A Golden Moment skating stars Katarina Witt, Ekaterina Gordeeva, Kristi, Tara Lipinski and Rosalynn Sumners.

An encore presentation of A Golden Moment, sponsored by Honda of North America, raises funds for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Brian Boitano, Kurt Browning and Scott Hamilton join the cast.

The two presentations of A Golden Moment raise a total of $250,000 for the fight against breast cancer.

Bay Area radio legend Don Bleu and skater Brian Boitano lend a hand at the Foundation’s fundraiser at Roy’s in San Francisco.

The Foundation begins a partnership with the Family Giving Tree, a San Francisco Bay Area–based nonprofit organization dedicated to fulfilling holiday wishes of kids who would otherwise go without.

Wish cards were printed with the children’s wishes and distributed to host locations. Through dedicated community giving, unwavering volunteer support and clockwork coordination, 35,000 gifts are distributed to underprivileged children and families in the final days of the December Holiday period.

The Foundation enters the first of a two-year collaboration with the Hawaii Centers for Independent Living. Born of a desire to address the unmet needs of children with disabilities in Hawaii, and facilitated by a Foundation Board Member’s gift, a partnership is created to develop the Youth Development Empowerment Program.

A week-long Summer Camp called Kristi’s Friendship Games is designed and staged to launch the program—envisioned to be a place where kids with and without disabilities can gather and actively participate with each other.

Holiday skating party at Yerba Buena Ice Rink in San Francisco.

As part of the second year of collaboration with Hawaii Centers for Independent Living, staff and volunteers again travel to the Islands to participate in a Youth Leadership Forum. The Forum is developed to provide kids with disabilities, and their friends, an opportunity to learn leadership and independent living skills through useful, fun and interactive activities.

The Foundation hosts its sixth holiday skating party for Bay Area children’s organizations at the Kristi Yamaguchi Holiday Rink at Embarcadero Center in San Francisco.

The Pioneer Fund, a private foundation of the late businesswoman and philanthropist Helen McLoraine, announces that it will make an eight-year challenge grant to the Always Dream Foundation. This transformational gift will enable the Foundation to expand vital funding it provides to organizations addressing the educational, developmental or recreational needs of underserved children.

San Francisco 49er great Ronnie Lott welcomes two guests of honor to the Foundation’s Hawaiian-themed Gala fundraiser Passage to Paradise.

The Foundation renews its partnership with Shoes That Fit (STF). STF believes every child deserves shoes that fit, and its grassroots programs are working to provide children living in poverty with new shoes, enabling them to fully participate in all school and extra-curricular activities. The organization’s vision for the future is to create a simple, hands-on program encouraging volunteerism in every community, and helping build the self-esteem of children in need.

The Foundation makes the first in a series of grants to Yes Reading. Now called Reading Partners, this grassroots organization helps children become lifelong readers by recruiting and training volunteers to provide one-on-one reading tutoring.

Kristi and Foundation friend Scott Hamilton share the hosting duties at Passage to Paradise.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, ADF creates a meaningful and direct way to make a difference in the lives of children displaced by the storm. Working closely with our partner Shoes That Fit, the Foundation provides funding for 1,000 pairs of new shoes that were distributed to elementary school children.

Just a few of the dozens of touching thank you notes that the Foundation received from the kids.

Just a few of the dozens of touching thank you notes that the Foundation received from the kids.

The Foundation kicks off its partnership with the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program (BORP), based in Berkeley, California. BORP works to improve the health, independence and social integration of people with physical disabilities through sports, fitness and recreation programs. It believes that sports and recreation provide a path to greater achievement to which all people should have access.

The Foundation continues its partnership with Girls Inc. through the GIRLStart program. GIRLStart is a daily after-school literacy program for kindergarten through third grade girls who had been identified as reading below grade-level, or otherwise needing extra literacy support.

Fremont Bank Vice Chairman Mike Wallace joins Kristi to unveil a rendering of Always Dream Play Park at the Foundation’s October fundraising event, Swing into Action. The Bank’s $100,000 gift will supply the momentum needed to launch construction of the Foundation’s most ambitious project to date.

Jazz great Keiko Matsui entertains more than 300 Swing Into Action guests gathered under a tent in Fremont’s Central Park. The event is held adjacent to the site of Always Dream Play Park.

Kristi competes on, and wins, ABC’s popular “Dancing with the Stars” television show. Her appearance generates a new wave of interest and excitement about the Foundation and its work.

Design drawings are completed for the extraordinary Always Dream Play Park. The goal of the design is to create a play area for children of all abilities that allows for physical as well as mental development through a diversity of play experiences, and is also a gathering place for the community. The design incorporates natural elements and provides an engaging, interactive environment.

The Foundation premieres its newest gala fundraising event, Dancing the Night Away. More than 400 guests are treated to an unforgettable evening of ballroom dancing. The event, which includes a cast of professionals and celebrities from “Dancing with the Stars,” proves to be one of the Foundation’s most successful.

The Girls Inc. Strong, Smart, and Bold Luncheon benefits nearly 7,000 girls and families served at Girls Inc. of Alameda County. Strong, Smart, and Bold Awards honor Kristi, San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris and Speaker of the California State Assembly Karen Bass.

Work begins on Always Dream Play Park. With an overall budget of close to $1,000,000, this will be the Foundation’s most ambitious project to date. Swinerton Builders provides construction management services pro bono.

After almost four years of planning and construction, and with the help of almost 200 volunteers, including many from the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program, Always Dream Play Park opens to the public. This remarkable project represents the culmination of the Foundation’s commitment to making a direct and lasting difference in the lives of children with disabilities.

The Foundation is proud to renew its tradition of celebrating the holiday season by inviting children from outstanding Bay Area organizations to join in an afternoon of skating, goodies and gifts. More than 70 kids join in the fun. Photo: Kymberli Brady

The Always Dream Foundation holds its inaugural family-oriented event at Zeum, San Francisco’s Children’s Museum. Photo: Jim Nagareda

The 2010 presentation of the Foundation’s gala fundraising event, Dancing the Night Away, brings together Olympic Gold Medal figure skaters Peggy Fleming (’68), Evan Lysacek (’10), Brian Boitano (’88), Scott Hamilton (’84), and Kristi Yamaguchi (’92).

Kristi introduces her first children’s picture book, “Dream Big, Little Pig!” and conducts read alouds at many schools around the San Francisco Bay Area, promoting early childhood literacy.

The 2011 presentation of the Foundation’s Gala Fundraising Event, Dancing the Night Away, brings together an array of support from the community and various professional athletes such as Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano, Ronnie Lott and Peggy Fleming, among others. Proceeds benefit the Foundation’s early childhood literacy initiatives, as well as those directly impacted by the Northern Japan Earthquake-Tsunami in Tohoku.

Kristi participates in Project Aloha, an 18-person delegation that visits the Tohoku region of Japan, which was most devastated by the March 2011 tsunami and earthquake. The goal was to spread the “aloha spirit” and bring smiles to the faces of those most affected, including children. In this picture, Kristi visits an elementary school in Kessanuma, Fukushima Prefecture.

The Foundation launches their Always Reading literacy program in several kindergarten classrooms in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Kristi releases her second children’s picture book, “It’s A Big World, Little Pig!” with 100 percent of the proceeds from the book to benefit the Always Dream Foundation.

The Always Dream Foundation hosts its first annual literacy festival, Kristi Yamaguchi’s Reading Adventures at Happy Hollow.

NBA-veteran Adonal Foyle and soccer champion Brandi Chastain promote literacy through story readings at Kristi Yamaguchi’s Reading Adventures at Happy Hollow.

The Foundation expands its literacy program, Always Reading, into seven new Title 1 schools in Concord, Fremont, Oakland, San Jose, and Redwood City, for a total of 12 San Francisco Bay Area schools.