Ishikawa, a 19-year-old Japanese professional golfer, announced on March 30 that he would donate all of his 2011 tournament winnings to disaster relief efforts in Japan. In addition, he plans to donate $1,200 for every birdie he makes. "I hope that this will contribute to those people so that they will be encouraged and they can walk again in their life," he told the L.A. Times.
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Through a partnership with Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit committed to feeding hungry children, the Twins pledged to donate $25,000 -- or 100,000 meals -- to the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. The Minnesota Twins wives organization also pledged $4,000. The donation meant a lot to the Twins' new second baseman, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who calls Japan home. "All I can do is be appreciative of all the support we're getting," Nishioka said through his translator, Ryo Shinkawa.
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After skiing alongside Japanese skiers for many years, Julia Mancuso knew she had to help when she saw images of the devastation in Japan. The Olympic gold medalist founded Skiers Helping Japan, an organization of both recreational skiers and athletes dedicated to sending funds and good will to Japan. Mancuso personally donated half of her winnings from her FIS World Cup finals downhill victory.
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Several NBA Players
Who says scoring is selfish? From March 25-27, several NBA players pledged to donate $1,000 for every point they scored. Numerous players had engaged in a similar act of charity the year before for the Haitian relief efforts. This year on March 25, Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol and Russell Westbrook raised $69,000 alone.
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K.J. Choi, who played in Japan before becoming the first Korean to earn a PGA Tour card, donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross to support the aid efforts. "It is shocking and terribly sad to see what is happening every day in Japan and the difficulty they face in overcoming this disaster. The situation in Japan impacts us all on a global level," Choi said. "This is the time for us to join our hands together and do all we can to help our friends in Japan."
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Following the lead of his fellow countrymen, Hideki Matsui donated around $600,000 to the relief efforts on March 21. Matsui had previously donated around $600,00 following the Indian Ocean tsunami and around $120,000 to Japan following a smaller earthquake in 2007.
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New York Yankees
The Yankees donated $100,000 to the rescue and relief efforts, splitting their total between the Salvation Army and the Red Cross. "We hope that the international community does everything in its power to support and assist the Japanese people in their time of need," managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said.
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Before her match at Indian Wells against Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki unveiled a Japanese flag inscribed with the words, "Our thoughts are with you." Wozniacki and Azarenka held the flag across the net and asked for a moment of silence for the people of Japan. "We just wanted to show that we're thinking about them over there," Wozniacki told the The Desert Sun.
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Japan's struggles are very personal for Ichiro Suzuki. In 1995, Ichiro led the Orix BlueWave to a Pacific League title, in the process inspiring an earthquake-devastated city of Kobe. Now a member of the Seattle Mariners, Ichiro donated $1.2 million to the Red Cross to aid in recovery efforts.
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Both of Kobe Bryant's parents were in Japan during the earthquake but both were unharmed. Perhaps thankful for their safety, Bryant recorded a public service announcement for the Red Cross encouraging fans to donate to the relief efforts. The PSA was aired regularly during NBA games.
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The long-hitting golfer donated $50,000 to the Red Cross to aid in the relief and recovery efforts. "We wanted to help. We can't dig through the rubble, so how about money?" Watson said of his donation.
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Daisuke Matsuzaka has always been charitable. Last year he donated $500 for every strikeout he recorded, resulting in a $66,500 contribution to a foundation serving needy children in New England. So when disaster struck his home, Matsuzaka quickly moved into action. He personally donated $1 million to the Red Cross in conjunction with the Red Sox -- who have independently raised $1.3 million -- and said that he would continue his strikeout fundraiser, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting continued recovery efforts.
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San Jose Sharks
The Sharks collected donations for Japan before two of their games and held a stick auction to raise further funds. All donations went directly to the Red Cross. "Though Japan is across the Pacific Ocean and thousands of miles away, the effects of the tragedy have been felt by many people in the Bay Area," San Jose Sharks foundation manager Jeff Cafuir said.
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Top Tennis Players
On March 23, more than a dozen of the world's best tennis players, including Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, took part in the Hope Match for Japan, a charity exhibition benefiting victims of the earthquake and tsunami.
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Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Dirk Hayhurst, author of the New York Times bestseller The Bullpen Gospels, leveraged his popularity on Twitter to help raise money. Hayhurst offered personal Skype conversations as a thank you to individuals who donated more than $50. "I'm an athlete, for the time being, and as long as I am one I will use my platform for as much positive impact as I can," Hayhurst wrote to his followers.
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Hiroki Kuroda, a native of Osaka, Japan, donated $50,000. Through his interpreter, Kuroda also addressed his teammates to speak about the devastation in his country. "[Kuroda] wanted to tell them what it means to him," Josh Rawitch, Kuroda's spokesman, told the L.A. Times.
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Though he's stateside now, Bobby Valentine managed in Japan for five years and he's still close with many who still call Japan home. When he saw the images of the devastation, he began reaching out to old friends for updates. He also began reaching out to friends in the U.S. to organize a relief effort. "What I do have is a pretty good circle of friends who I reached out to. I think I'll be able to contribute," Valentine told the AP.
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Former Dodgers pitcher Chan-Ho Park, now with Orix Buffaloes of the Japanese Pacific League, donated $124,000 to the relief efforts.
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After he heard about the devastation in his home country, Ryuji Imada made a plea at the Transitions Championship. He drafted a letter saying he planned to donate $1,000 per birdie and asked his fellow PGA Tour players to join him. Imada missed the cut, but his plea encouraged Bobby Gates and Brandt Snedeker to follow suit.
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Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-Sung, a native of South Korea, donated $88,000 to the relief efforts.
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