With the 2012 Olympics kicking off in London this weekend, LookToTheStars.org is proud to bring you this special feature showcasing some of the Team USA athletes taking part and their favorite charities.


Abby Wambach – Soccer

Olympian Abby Wambach
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Charitites/Philanthropies:
Juvenile Diabetes Association
Epilepsy Foundation

Is there a reason why you support these organizations?:
My brother peter has epilepsy and my brother and nephew Andrew Wambach and Ben Ritter have Type 1 diabetes


Alex Morgan – Soccer

Olympian Alex Morgan
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Charities/Philanthropies:
Susan G. Komen for the Cure
ASPCA
Bonnie J Addario Lung Cancer Foundation

Is there a reason why you support these organizations?
Susan G Komen – my boyfriend’s mother is a breast cancer survivor, but it is also the most diagnosed cancer for women.
ASPCA – I am an animal lover, have had 5 cats and 3 dogs in my life. It is important we put an end to cruelty of animals.


Allyson Felix – Track & Field

Olympian Allyson Felix
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Charities/Philanthropies:
I support Right To Play, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and the Women's Sports Foundation.

Is there a reason why you chose to support those specific organizations?
I have a real heart and passion for children, so I was very honored and excited to be approached by Right to Play and Children’s Miracle Network who both work so hard to improve the lives of children. As a female athlete I understand the importance of the work the Women’s Sports Foundation does.


Ariana Kukors – Swimming

Olympian Ariana Kukors
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Charities/Philanthropies:
I participate in Breast Cancer Awareness (5k runs, etc) events as often as I can. My mom is a breast cancer survivor so I have seen the whole process from having watched her go through it. When we were young, my mom wanted us to understand where she was going when she went in for treatments, so we tagged along every once in a while. She is my hero without question and someone I’ve had the opportunity to look up to my whole life.


Brady Ellison – Archery

Olympian Brady Ellison
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Charities/Philanthropies:
Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Is there a reason why you chose to support those specific organizations?
I have a campaign I do with my archery called X Out Breast Cancer. I had a coach die of stomach cancer and I wanted to give something back so I chose Susan G. Komen.


Brenda Villa – Water Polo

Olympian Brenda Villa
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Charities/Philanthropies:
Women's Sports Foundation

Is there a reason why you chose to support those specific organizations?
I have directly benefited from Title IX. The work they do to support women and women in smaller sports is phenomenal.


Christie Rampone – Soccer

Olympian Christie Rampone
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Charities/Philanthropies:
Cancer, MS, 22nd Chromosome & Autism research and treatment organizations.
Inner City & Military organizations that offer direct help.


Dana Vollmer – Swimming

Olympian Dana Vollmer
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Charities/Philanthropies:
I have started working with the American Heart Association.

Is there a reason why you chose to support those specific organizations?
When I was 14 I was diagnosed with random patterns of Long QT Syndrome. Most doctors would say I could never do athletics ever again, however my family decided to allow me to swim as long as I kept a Defibrillator by my side. At 16, I won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics


David Boudia – Diving

Olympian David Boudia
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Charities/Philanthropies:
The Jared Foundation

Is there a reason why you chose to support the organization?
I’m passionate about teaching our youth the importance of being healthy and active.


Dawn Harper – Track & Field

Olympian Dawn Harper
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Charities/Philanthropies:
JJK center and Fastrac

Is there a reason why you support this organization?:
I grew up in East Saint Louis and I know how much the community needs such a positive influence. The center truly gives back to the kids….Fastrac is a college bound program that my dad started in Iowa City. I have seen it make the kids take responsibility for their future.


Dotsie Bausch – Cycling

Olympian Dotsie Bausch
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Charities/Philanthropies:
Irvine Animal Care shelter
Organizations that work to support women who suffer with eating disorders.

Is there a reason why you support this organization?:
I give walks, baths and care to homeless animals and work with them on behavior to help make them adoptable. I also work with many women throughout the country (well the world actually) who suffer from severe eating disorders, helping them to heal and encouraging them to live again. I am a survivor of a life-threatening eating disorder and need to do whatever I can to help save others still suffering.


Elizabeth “Betsey” Armstrong – Water Polo

Olympian Elizabeth Armstrong
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Charity/Philanthropy:
Right To Play

Is there a reason why you support this organization?:
I became involved prior to the 2008 Beijing Games and will continue to work with them after the London games. They have a lot of great projects going on currently all around the world to educate communities on a lot of pressing health issues.


Eric Shanteau – Swimming

Olympian Eric Shanteau
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Charity/Philanthropy:
The Lance Armstrong Foundation

Is there a reason you support these organizations?:
Yes, I became involved after I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2008. I am a LIVESTRONG Envoy as well as a member of their Young Leaders Cancer Council. I am also the founder of the Swim For Your Life Challenge, an open water charity race held every year at Lake Lanier Islands outside Atlanta.


Evelyn Stevens – Cycling

Olympian Evelyn Stevens
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Charities/Philanthropies:
Transportation Alternatives
Right To Play
Maureen E. Russo Nonprofit Organization

Is there a reason you support these organizations?:
I lived in New York City and really became a competitive rider there. The Transportation Alternative is committed to better bicycling, walking and public transit in the five boroughs.

Right to Play brings sport and play to developing countries. I had the opportunity to travel to Peru in the fall of 2009 to visit a handful of schools where the program has been implemented, it was an amazing experience.

I am a member of Team Maureen which funds are supporting state of the art research for cervical cancer.


Gwen Jorgensen – Triathlon

Olympian Gwen Jorgensen
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Charities/Philanthropies:
Athletes For Hope
Boys & Girls Club of Cass Street in Milwaukee, WI


Hunter Kemper – Triathlon

Olympian Hunter Kemper
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Charities/Philanthropies:
A-T Children’s Project

Is there a reason your involved with this organization?:
At the end of 2007, I had the privilege of meeting the Veldink family. The Veldink’s lives have been changed by A-T because two of their children, Kate (age ten) and Olivia (age six) have both been diagnosed with Ataxia-Telangiectasia (A-T). A-T is a fatal genetic disease characterized by progressive weakening of the immune system, nervous system, and other bodily systems.

Affected children typically develop difficulty walking, problems with balance, abnormal eye movements, and slurred speech as well as chronic lung infections and increased risk of developing cancer, particularly leukemia and lymphoma. They are usually wheelchair bound by the age of ten. Though some diagnosed with A-T live into adulthood, their life expectancy is reduced tremendously.

I was honored to represent A.T. in January as I raced the Disney Half Marathon in support of the A-T Children’s Project. My life will never be the same after meeting these amazing families that struggle with this rare disease every day.


Kayla Harrison – Judo

Olympian Kayla Harrison
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Charities/Philanthropies:
No-Bull Zone – which is an anti-bullying foundation
New England chapter of Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association – which is supplemental in providing AEDs to public places

Is there a reason you support that organization?
Both were brought to my attention by friends, and I think they are great organizations that differ from each other and provide unique but vital services to the community.


Kellie Wells –Track & Field

Olympian Kellie Wells
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Charities/ Philanthropies:
The Reed Foundation and any charity/foundation that is against domestic violence and sexual abuse

Is there a reason why you support those organizations?
I am a victim of sexual abuse and my mom was a victim of domestic violence so by supporting that cause I may be able to save lives.


Kimberly Rhode – Shooting

Olympian Kim Rhode
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Charity/Philanthropy:
Spokesperson for Kids & Clays which raises money for the Ronald McDonald Houses. You can’t get much better than supporting kids and their families of the Ronald McDonald Houses!


Kerri Walsh

Charities/Philanthropies:
Chase the Stars

Is there a reason why you support those organizations?
This is a charity that I set up to support the mission that every child should be able to chase their dreams. I support programs and events that directly benefit the well-being, health, and quality of children’s lives.


Olympian Lashawn Merritt
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Lashawn Merritt – Track & Field

Olympian Kerri Walsh
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Charities/Philanthropies:
Unprivileged kids & obesity

Is there a reason why you support these causes?:
I didn’t have much growing up and I’m all about healthcare for kids. They deserve the best possible chance for success as early in life as possible.


Lolo Jones – Track & Field

Olympian Lolo Jones
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Charities/Philanthropies:

Adopt-a-Child
The 9th Hurdle
Avid contributor to my church, “Healing Place”


Mariel Zagunis – Fencing

Olympian Mariel Zagunis
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Charities/Philanthropies:
The Sunshine Pantry

Is there a reason why you support this organization?:
It’s a local food bank that I have been volunteering at for years. It is very small and personal, started by a woman, Sharon Strauss, initially out of her own garage, because she wanted to help people in need.

I just happened to sign up for a volunteer position that was at this pantry that and I had not known about before. From the beginning I just loved the owner and wanted to continue to help her help others.


Matt Emmons – Shooting

Olympian Matt Emmons
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Charities/Philanthropies:
Deerassic Park in Cambridge, Ohio

Is there a reason why you support this organization?:
It’s a park dedicated to education about whitetail deer, but their main focus is work with children. They do a great deal toward introducing children to the outdoors. I enjoy working with youth and especially introducing them to something I’m fond of – the outdoors.


Maya Moore – Basketball

Olympian Maya Moore
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Charities/Philanthropies:
Breast Health Awareness (Lynx Foundation)
WNBA Cares

Is there a reason why you support this organization?
I am a huge believer in the impact of role models. Community involvement as a pro athlete plays such a big role in inspiring the next generation to be great.


Missy Franklin – Swimming

Olympian Missy Franklin
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Charities/Philanthropies:
Excelsior Youth Center

Is there a reason why you support this organization?:
I support Excelsior because their purpose is so meaningful and helps so many young women all over the country. I think that it is important to realize how lucky we are and all the things that we are capable of helping with.


Misty May-Treanor – Beach Volleyball

Olympian Misty May Treanor
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Charities/Philanthropies:
Southern California Special Olympics
Numerous animal groups

Is there a reason why you support this organization?:
Sharing my passion for sports with the Special Olympics and my love of animals with organizations that fight to protect them is the best way I know to make a difference.


Natalie Coughlin – Swimming

Olympian Natalie Coughlin
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Charities/Philanthropies:
Dave Andrew Maddan Foundation
MOVE


Nathan Adrian – Swimming

Olympian Nathan Adrian
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Charities/Philanthropies:
Bonnie J Addario Lung Cancer Foundation- specifically Jill’s Legacy


Rebecca Soni – Swimming

Olympian Rebecca Soni
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Charity/Philanthropy:
GirlUp, United Nations Foundation

Is there a reason why you support this organization?
I really believe in what motivates them, which is to raise awareness and funding to help adolescent girls in underdeveloped countries. They focus on preventing child marriage, as well as helping girls find a passion and be able to make a career for themselves, and helping to provide for proper health. I like how they get young girls in the US excited and involved. The girls really respond when they learn what girls their age have to deal with in comparison to their lives.


Ryan Lochte – Swimming

Olympian Ryan Lochte
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Charities/Philanthropies:
Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy
Spokesperson for the Mac Crutchfield Fund, a local charity that provides scholarships to high school seniors


Sanya Richards-Ross – Track & Field

Olympian Sanya Richards Ross
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Charities/Philanthropies:
The Sanya Richards Fast Track Program- based in Kingston Jamaica
Win With Integrity
Athletes For Hope


Sue Bird – Basketball

Olympian Sue Bird
Olympian Sue Bird

Charities/Philanthropies:
The Spinal Cord Injury Project

Is there a reason you support this organization?
A close friend of mine was paralyzed in a car accident when we were in HS. This is something that he is involved in and because of that it’s close to my heart.


Susan Francia – Rowing

Olympian Susan Francia
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Charities/Philanthropies:
Philadelphia City Rowing- it’s a rowing club dedicated to bringing sport to inner city school kids who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity. I have also spoken at many schools about the power of sports in life and academics.


Taylor Phinney – Cycling

Olympian Taylor Phinney
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Charities/Philanthropies:
My Dad has a Parkinson’s Foundation called the Davis Phinney Foundation.

Is there a reason why you support this organization?
I am very invested in his health and support him as much as I can.


Tony Azevedo – Water Polo

Olympian Tony Azevedo
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Charities/Philanthropies:
Healthy Planet Partners
Animal shelters throughout Brazil

Is there a reason why you support this organization?
My wife and I are committed to doing what we can to creating a clean and healthy planet. We also devote our time and resources to supporting animal shelters, particularly in Brazil. People there don’t have the same perspective about animals as we do in America – they’re somewhat disposable. The shelters we support help to spay and neuter animals and educate the public on how to care for your pets.


Trey Hardee – Track & Field

Olympian Trey Hardee
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Charities/Philanthropies:
The Flatwater Foundation

Is there a reason why you support this organization?
I love them mission and support the cause. They care for families affected by Cancer including their mental health needs.


You can find all-things-Olympics at NBCOlympics.com or TeamUSA.org. Every event will be available to watch as well as videos, photos, interviews and more.

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