with his wife, Holli’s, includes giving time and
resources to Seattle’s Children’s Hospital and
United Way, among many others. Martinez
was inducted into the World Sports
Humanitarian Hall of Fame in Boise,
Idaho, in 2007.
The Martinez Foundation
P.O. Box 50270
Bellevue, WA 98015
After his retirement in 2004, he and
Holli went back to college to finish their
degrees and realized a great need.
IN A DECISIVE GAME five in the 1995 American
League Division Series against the New York
Yankees, Edgar Martinez came to the plate with
his Seattle Mariners down 5–4 in the bottom of
the 11th inning. It was do-or-die time. As he had
done so many times before in his 18-year career,
Martinez smacked a two-run double, sending the
Mariners to their first American League
Championship Series. Many Mariner fans credit
that hit with saving baseball in Seattle.
“If you don’t have access to an
equitable education, the chances you
have in life aren’t equitable either,” explains
Edgar. “Students of color are not graduating at
the same rate as white students.”
VANHOU TEN PHOTOGRAPH Y, INC.
But Edgar Martinez is a hero in Seattle for
his off-the-field activities as much as his on-field
play. His commitment to the community, along
They formed The Martinez Foundation,
which endows fellows from underprivileged
backgrounds to pursue educational training,
and give back to communities like the ones
from which they came, as teachers.
One hundred percent of
donations ($800,000 so far)
go to the scholarships. “We
keep our overhead so
low,” observes Holli.
DAN DELONG/RED BOX PIC TURES
The Connection interviewed the Martinezes at
their home and asked if they
have offices. Holli says, “My dining
room table. I don’t feel comfort-
Edgar and Holli Martinez (center) talk with
Martinez Foundation fellows (from left)
Marina Pita, Carlito Umali and Monico DeLeon.
able with the foundation spending
money on office space, so I want
to make sure that we’re conservative and careful fiscally.” C
K RISTI YAMAGUCHI HITthe the national
stage at the age of 20, taking the gold medal
at the 1992 Olympics. Embarking on a professional career, she quickly discovered that
fame meant more than simply making a lot
“[I] saw the need that was out there and
that I had the ability to make a difference,”
than $5 million to date, is looking to grow.
we can put our own funds into,” she explains.
In 1996 she started the Always Dream
Foundation. “If there’s a need or an organization that hits close to home, then we’ll definitely help them out,” states Yamaguchi. The
foundation has purchased computers for
schools, provided shopping sprees for underprivileged children to purchase back-to-school clothing, organized holiday parties for
children’s shelters and more. “For the past 14
or 15 years we’ve supported a lot of different
organizations,” she says.
“A hundred years from now, I”m hoping
my philanthropic work will be a standing
legacy,” she says. “And I”m hoping that my
of it and take it over and continue on.” C
1203 Preservation Park Way,
Suite 102, Oakland, CA 94612
“Our biggest project [for which they
raised $800,000] was building the Always
Dream Play Park, which is based in
Fremont, [California,] my hometown,” she
proudly proclaims. “We built a park for kids
of all abilities. So whether you’re able-bodied or a child with disabilities, you can
play side by side on the same equipment in
the same playground.”
Kristi Yamaguchi (standing, second from right) and friends
celebrate the opening of the Always Dream Play Park.
The foundation, which has raised more
MI TCHELL LAY TON
32 e Costco Connection MAY 2011
4/21/11 7:45 AM