DANA POINT, Calif. (October 17, 2016) On Friday evening at the seventh annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit presented by Toyota, espnW and Toyota introduced the fourth 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.
“For the fourth year, Toyota is proud to recognize and celebrate these outstanding ‘Everyday Heroes’ for the work they have done to empower women and girls through sports making an immense impact in communities around the country,” said Nancy Inouye, national media manager, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. “We applaud these heroes and their energy, commitment and vision, which inspire us all.”
The 2016 Toyota “Everyday Heroes” are:
Courtney Payne Taylor (Founder, Girls Riders)
Girls Riders Organization (GRO) supports girls through action sports such as skateboarding, snowboarding and more, teaching them it’s more than just an activity, but a platform for life lessons. GRO’s mission is to inspire, educate and support girls through action sports to be active in life and confident leaders of positive change in the community around them. Courtney Payne Taylor founded GRO after skateboarding helped her turn her own life around. Her goal is to have a GRO Crew in every state in the U.S.
Tracy Pointer (Founder, GROW / GROW Girl)
GROW and GROW Girl were founded in 2007 with a mission to foster personal and professional development opportunities for multi-cultural women and girls through a mutual interest in the game of golf. Participants learn how to approach life lessons through the game and pursue their dreams. GROW sees golf as untapped scholarship potential, especially in urban areas, to allow women to further their education.
Beth Devine (Founder, Philly Girls In Motion)
Philly Girls in Motion is a volunteer-driven organization that delivers fitness and nutrition programs for girls through the City of Philadelphia’s Recreation Centers as well as select schools. Serving 500+ girls annually spanning second to eighth grades, their goal is to get girls moving and to teach them and their families about healthy nutrition, exercise and positive body image. Fitness programs, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, rugby and yoga are all offered through the organization.
“These three women epitomize what it means to be a hero by being agents for positive change in their local communities, and espnW is honored to recognize these effective, inspirational programs,” said Laura Gentile, senior vice president, espnW & Women’s Initiatives. “With their tireless work and dedication to ensuring girls are equipped to lead healthy lives, they have demonstrated how sports can make a real and lasting impact.”
Last year’s Toyota Everyday Heroes were Chrissy Lewis-Summers, founder of Beyond Sticks and Heidi Boynton, founder of Mini Mermaid Running Club. The 2014 honorees were Dr. Kimberley S. Clay, Monica Gonzalez and Claire Smallwood. In 2013, espnW and Toyota recognized Barb Lazarus, Justine Siegal and Mobolaji Akidoe as the inaugural recipients.
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 30 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 44,000 people (more than 34,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.8 million cars and trucks (nearly 2.5 million in the U.S.) in 2015 – 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 is a global multiplatform brand dedicated to engaging and inspiring women through sports. espnW.com, the brand’s content home, offers total access to female athletes and the sports they play, takes fans inside the biggest events, and captures the biggest trends in sports life/style. espnW also provides a unique point of view on the sports stories that matter most to women and highlights the crossroads of sports and culture. Founded in July 2010, espnW’s content and voices live across digital, television, radio, films, events, educational platforms and social media. The annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit, now in its seventh year, brings together top athletes and industry leaders for meaningful conversations around women and sports, and is the leading event of its kind in the sports industry.