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Visa Humanitarian Award

The Humanitarian Award was established in 1997 to recognize the outstanding achievements by athletes in social activities and personal commitments outside the competition arena.

2010 Bernard Lagat
  Lagat was twice named the Team USA Athlete of the Meet presented by Visa. He first received this honor for his record-breaking eighth Wanamaker Mile victory at the Millrose Games in NYC. The following week he once again earned recognition for setting the American Indoor record over 3,000 meters at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games. Without hesitation, Lagat decided to donate the $5,000 prize monies to UNICEF to help in the aid effort in Haiti. Through the Bernard Lagat Foundation, which he created in 2004, he has paid for Kenyan high school students' tuition fees. His foundation is also a regular supporter of Beat Cancer Boot Camp, a training program designed to help cancer survivors stay active during treatment and remission. He was also part of the Americas Team at the 2010 Continental Cup that donated all of their extra uniforms to the Haiti Relief Fund.
2009 Ryan Hall and Sara Hall
  Ryan Hall’s third place finish in the 2009 Boston Marathon made him the first American male to finish on the podium since 1984. In 2009, Hall also finished fourth overall in the ING NYC Marathon in 2:10:36 to take second in the USA Championship race. His wife, Sara Hall, ran in New York as well and finished third in the Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile, which was a race that was so close that first through fourth place all finished in 4:23. The couple donated their winnings from these two New York races toward their Hall Steps Foundation, which funds programs to create a better life for youth living in poverty in the United States and abroad. The foundation uses running's lessons to encourage people to take "small steps" toward the goal of tackling issues like clean water, sex trafficking, and leadership development. Domestically, the foundation creates mentoring programs for at-risk youth to train for a race with an adult runner.
2008 Lolo Jones
  Jones won the 100-meter hurdles at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, Ore. on July 6 in a windy 12.29 seconds (+3.8mps), tying the #2 time ever run under any conditions. Following the race, Jones gave her $4,000 in prize money to a fund assisting Renee Trout, a single mother from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who was a victim of the Iowa floods. Jones' sponsors each matched Jones' $4,000 prize, bringing the total donation to $12,000. While in Des Moines for the Drake Relays in April, Jones gave each girl on Theodore Roosevelt High School track team a pair of spikes and made a $3,000 donation to the school to repair the track and buy hurdles. Jones also is active in USA Track & Field's Win With Integrity program, aimed at educating youth, parents, educators, and coaches about the positive results that come from leading a physically active, drug-free lifestyle while living with integrity.
2007 Dathan Ritzenhein
  Ritzenhein, 24, of Eugene, Oregon, earlier this year won the Healthy Kidney 10K in New York on May 19 in 28 minutes 8 seconds, breaking the Central Park course record of 28:10 set by Kenyan Paul Koech in 1997. Following the race Ritzenhein donated his winner's earnings of $7,500 to the race beneficiary, the National Kidney Foundation. "I made a pact with myself before the race that if I'm fortunate enough to pick up this course record the least I can do is give back the first place prize money seeing as how this is professional athletics, but it's a race for charity," said Ritzenhein.
2006 Lauryn Williams
  The world champion at 100 meters, Williams last December gave $10,000 to Miami area families, making it easier for 20 families to fulfill their Christmas wishes. She donates her time to assisting a class of deaf students, has established a scholarship fun for female athletes, and donates a portion of the proceeds from her “Fast Flakes” cereal to that fund. She also gives $1,000 to the scholarship fund for every “sub-11” race she runs. All this in addition to being heavily involved in USATF’s “Be A Champion” youth outreach program.
2005 Sanya Richards
  As a student-athlete in the Longhorn Leaders program at the University of Texas, Sanya Richards spent a great deal of time working with adolescents in at-risk schools, and she continues to be heavily involved in community service across the country as a part of USATF's “Be A Champion” youth outreach program. Richards made history in 2005 in becoming the second-fastest American in history and the youngest woman ever to run under 49 seconds in the women's 400 meters.
2004 Brenda Taylor
  Off the track, the 2001 Harvard graduate makes youth outreach a mission, working with more than 1,000 kids ages 7 through 18 as part of her “No Obstacles” program. Lucky to have supportive parents growing up, she knows that many children don't have the luxury of a cheering squad at home. Through “No Obstacles,” Taylor teaches kids how to set long- and short-term goals ... and to achieve them.
2003 Tisha Waller
  Waller has a record of community service that is as deep as her athletic resume. She is an anti-drugs in sports speaker at high schools. She is a mentor for Atlanta children with academic and social concerns, and a guest reader for Wal-Mart's “Reading on Wheels – an Approach to Literacy.” She con tributes to the United Negro College Fund and Breast Cancer Awareness, and is a motivational speaker for local schools, scout troops, and track & field banquets. She is a volunteer with Hosea Williams Feed the Homeless.
2002 Deena Drossin
  Drossin takes every opportunity to spread a message that she lives by: setting goals for yourself and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. In 2002, Drossin spoke at more than 15 high schools and junior colleges in California, several youth clinics, and at JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge events around the country.
2001 Maurice Greene
  In addition to donating $62,000 to the United Negro College Fund in 2001, Greene established the Finish the Race Youth Foundation in his hometown of Kansas City. The mission of the Foundation is to encourage and enable today's youth to acquire the skills necessary to more effectively face the difficult challenges of life.
2000 Antonio Pettigrew
  Pettigrew is a major supporter of the Garner Road Family YMCA in Raleigh, NC, which is one of seven independent African-American YMCAs in the USA. The YMCA is located in an area where more than 65% of its members are from single parent homes. The YMCA prides itself in providing financial assistance for individuals who participation in all of its program areas.
1999 Gail Devers
  Devers is providing for future Olympians in her Gail Devers Foundation, a vehicle of her own where she inspires young people to strive for success. Through the foundation, Devers teaches youngsters the meaning of FORCE -- Focus on Respect, Commitment, and Excellence.
1998 Allen Johnson
  Johnson returned to his roots in April 1998, sponsoring the Allen Johnson High School Invitational at his old high school, Lake Braddock, and leading a successful fund-raising drive for a new track surface at the school.
Joetta Clark Diggs
Clark Diggs is active with Tournament of Champions, which benefits mentally and physically impaired children. She also heads Joetta Sports and Beyond, helping girls maximize their full potential and achieve greater success in one's athletic, personal, and professional life.
1997 Jackie Joyner-Kersee
  One of the legends of our sport could afford to be resting on her laurels. But Jackie has been very active in her home town of East St. Louis, establishing the Jackie Joyner Kersee Foundation and leading the drive to build a community center for youth.


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