DANA POINT, Calif. (October 16, 2015) Last night at the sixth annual The espnW: Women + Sports Summit presented by Toyota, espnW and Toyota announced the third class of “Everyday Heroes,” an award that celebrates individuals making a difference for women and girls in their local communities through sports. Grants in the amount of $10,000 are provided to the organizations honored.
“As presenting sponsor of the espnW Summit, Toyota has a special opportunity to celebrate individuals who help blaze the trail for girls and women in sports,” said Dionne Colvin-Lovely, Director, Traditional and New Media, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. “The activities of the Every Day Heroes are an inspiration, and a great reminder of how anyone with passion and a vision can make a colossal impact in their community and the world around them.”
The 2015 Toyota “Everyday Heroes” are:
Chrissy Lewis-Summers (Founder, Beyond Sticks)
Founded in 2010, Beyond Sticks seeks to empower young women through sport. The organization focuses on an integrative approach to leadership and confidence alongside technical game instruction. While many sports organizations focus only on the technical aspects needed to achieve success on the field, Beyond Sticks systematically empowers student-athletes to become leaders through sport.
Heidi Boynton (Founder, Mini Mermaid Running Club)
The Mini Mermaid Running Club is a unique running club for girls ranging from 5-15 years old. Their goal is to help build self-esteem, teach healthy eating and living skills, while giving girls a chance to fall in love with running, move their bodies and experience the satisfaction of crossing a finish line. They want to provide all girls with strategies to combat feelings of insecurity and tools to build self-esteem. Thus, they are empowering girls to make better choices in the future. They are changing the lives of girls and young women by shifting their internal experience and the way they interact with the world around them. The program operates in 13 states and 9 countries, and in just over six years, more than 5,200 girls have participated in the program.
“We’re amazed and inspired by each of the honorees in this year’s class,” said espnW vice president Laura Gentile. “espnW is proud to again team with Toyota to recognize the achievements of these heroes, who have displayed remarkable leadership and selflessness.”
To qualify for an Everyday Heroes grant, a person and/or organization must:
- Have been in the sports industry for at least three years;
- Be currently making a meaningful impact on the women’s sports landscape in her local community with quantifiable results, including creating more sports opportunities for girls and women, inspiring them with a meaningful message and encouraging girls and women to take action in their communities;
- Not yet have gained notoriety in the national media landscape.
Last year’s Toyota Everyday Heroes were Dr. Kimberley S. Clay, co-founder of Play Like a Girl!; Monica Gonzalez, founder of Gonzo Soccer; and Claire Smallwood, co-founder and executive director of SheJumps.
Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 42,000 people (more than 33,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.67 million cars and trucks (more than 2.35 million in the U.S.) in 2014 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today. Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment. As part of this commitment, we share the company’s extensive know-how garnered from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.
espnW serves women who love sports. espnW.com provides an engaging environment that offers total access to female athletes and the sports they play, takes fans inside the biggest events, and shares a unique point of view on the sports stories that matter most to women. Founded in July, 2010, espnW lives across television, films, events, digital and social platforms. The annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit is the leading event of its kind in the sports industry. The Women’s Sports Foundation is a charity of choice for espnW.