Welcome!

News Feed Item

Dancing with the Stars' Contestant Amy Purdy to Serve as Grand Marshal for 2014 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Pro/Celebrity Race

Brian McKnight to Sing National Anthem to Kick Off 38th Annual Charitable Event

LONG BEACH, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 04/03/14 -- Bronze medal-winning paralympic snowboarder and "Dancing with the Stars" contestant Amy Purdy will bring her competitive spirit to the 38th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Pro/Celebrity Race on April 12, as Grand Marshal of the long-running, prestigious, charitable event. Purdy will be joined by R&B singer and Grammy-nominated musician Brian McKnight, who will open the race by performing the national anthem.

Purdy, 34, began snowboarding at 15, but her life changed dramatically at just 19 years-old when she was diagnosed with Meningococcal Meningitis, and given about a two percent chance of survival. Due to the disease, which affected her circulatory system, both of her legs had to be amputated below the knee.

Determined to get back on the slopes, Purdy adapted her own prosthetics, as she couldn't find any that would work for snowboarding. One year later, she came in third place in a snowboarding competition at Mammoth Mountain and has since competed in several U.S. competitions and the Sochi Paralympics.

In 2005 Purdy co-founded Adaptive Action Sports, a non-profit organization which helps introduce young people with disabilities to action sports.

Purdy, a Team Toyota Athlete, will say the most famous words in racing -- "Ladies and Gentlemen... Start Your Engines" -- at the start of the Pro/Celebrity Race.

"Team Toyota athletes are not only leaders in their respective sports, but also role models and sources of inspiration for us all," Keith Dahl, Corporate Manager, Motorsports & Engagement Marketing. "Amy's perseverance and indomitable spirit have helped her overcome significant challenges to achieve greatness both on and off the slopes."

The participation of both Purdy and McKnight adds to the impressive list of Pro/Celebrity Race drivers from film, television, music and sports who will speed through the historic 1.97-mile street circuit on the streets of downtown Long Beach, Calif. They include U.S. Olympian Carmelita Jeter, academy award-winning actor Adrien Brody, New Zealand-born television personality Phil Keoghan, host of the popular CBS series "The Amazing Race," Emmy-winning actress best known for "Las Vegas," Vanessa Marcil, and the popular star of "Bates Motel" Max Thieriot.

Also in this year's race are last year's winner and co-host of "Top Gear USA" Rutledge Wood, star of MTV's hit-series "Awkward," Brett Davern, retired NASCAR driver Kyle Petty, Mr. Long Beach, Al Unser Jr., ABC's "Revenge" star Nick Wechsler, Eric Braeden, who stars on the popular soap opera "The Young and the Restless," "High School Musical" star and former "Dancing with the Stars" contestant Corbin Bleu, Canadian actress and model Tricia Helfer, Cole Hauser, who stars with Johnny Depp in the upcoming Warner Bros. film "Transcendence," Colin Egglesfield, most recognized as Tommy Rizzoli in "Rizzoli & Isles," "Being Human" star Sam Witwer, K-Earth 101 FM's entertainment reporter Lisa Stanley, charity auction winner Doug Fregin and Founder and President of Racing for Kids Dr. William Pinsky.

"We are thrilled to have Amy Purdy serve as grand marshal and Brian McKnight sing the anthem before this year's race, bringing more star power to this high-profile charitable event," said Les Unger, Toyota National Motorsports Manager. "Together their presence will help bring more attention to the children who benefit from The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Pro/Celebrity Race."

The Pro/Celebrity race is one of the longest-running, corporate-sponsored events of its kind. Toyota annually donates $5,000 to Racing for Kids on behalf of each participant and another $5,000 to the winning racer's charity of choice. Racing for Kids -- a national nonprofit program benefiting children's hospitals throughout the country -- was created as a way to connect these children with their favorite celebrities and race car drivers.

Since 1991, Toyota has donated more than $2 million to the Racing for Kids organization, on behalf of this race and its participants.

To learn more about the Pro/Celebrity Race, visit www.toyotaracing.com/series/toyota-pro-celebrity.html.

About Toyota
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. Toyota directly employs over 31,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $23 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.

Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed nearly 700 million to philanthropic programs in the U.S.

About the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
Owned and operated by the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, LLC, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is America's longest continually run street race. The three-day weekend features seven racing events including the Verizon IndyCar Series, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Pro/Celebrity Race, Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge, Indy Lights, Pirelli World Challenge and SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road. Off the track, the Grand Prix has a Lifestyle Expo, Friday and Saturday night concerts and charitable events during race week from the Grand Prix Foundation of Long Beach.

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
"We host and fully manage cloud data services, whether we store, the data, move the data, or run analytics on the data," stated Kamal Shannak, Senior Development Manager, Cloud Data Services, IBM, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
With the proliferation of both SQL and NoSQL databases, organizations can now target specific fit-for-purpose database tools for their different application needs regarding scalability, ease of use, ACID support, etc. Platform as a Service offerings make this even easier now, enabling developers to roll out their own database infrastructure in minutes with minimal management overhead. However, this same amount of flexibility also comes with the challenges of picking the right tool, on the right ...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
With over 720 million Internet users and 40–50% CAGR, the Chinese Cloud Computing market has been booming. When talking about cloud computing, what are the Chinese users of cloud thinking about? What is the most powerful force that can push them to make the buying decision? How to tap into them? In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Yu Hao, CEO and co-founder of SpeedyCloud, answered these questions and discussed the results of SpeedyCloud’s survey.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, explained how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously...
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"When you think about the data center today, there's constant evolution, The evolution of the data center and the needs of the consumer of technology change, and they change constantly," stated Matt Kalmenson, VP of Sales, Service and Cloud Providers at Veeam Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Redis is not only the fastest database, but it is the most popular among the new wave of databases running in containers. Redis speeds up just about every data interaction between your users or operational systems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Dave Nielsen, Developer Advocate, Redis Labs, will share the functions and data structures used to solve everyday use cases that are driving Redis' popularity.
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…