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Athletes work hard to be the best at what they do, and now some of the top sports celebrities have joined their efforts to form a team with a common goal of philanthropy. The prize they hope to win is a better future for the world.

The founding members of Athletes For Hope are already familiar with charity work, and hope to pass their passion for helping others on to the future generation of sports stars.

“Combined, our 12 Founding Athletes have raised more than $500 million for charitable and health-related causes, have built schools, community centers, hospitals, parks, and stadiums, while touching countless lives in ways that can’t be calculated,” said Ivan Blumberg, CEO of Athlete’s for Hope.

Andre Agassi, Mia Hamm and Lance Armstrong originally put the idea together, and were soon joined by Muhammad Ali, Warrick Dunn, Jeff Gordon, Tony Hawk, Andrea Jaeger, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mario Lemieux, Alonzo Mourning and Cal Ripken, Jr. The have created a clearing house where young athletes will be teamed up with exsisting charities, or helped to create charities of their own.

They hope that involving the athletes will also inspire the public to get involved in philanthropy.

“We’ve helped each other through our foundations,” tennis star Agassi said. “We realized as much as we can effect (change) individually, you can effect more profoundly collectively. It’s an exponential message.”

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