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
Building a cross-cloud operational model can be a daunting task. Per-cloud silos are not the answer, but neither is a fully generic abstraction plane that strips out capabilities unique to a particular provider. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Wolf, VP & Chief Technology Officer, Global Field & Industry at VMware, will discuss how successful organizations approach cloud operations and management, with insights into where operations should be centralized and when it’s best to decentraliz...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, CTO of Embotics, will discuss how automation can provide the dynamic management required to cost-effectively deliver microservices and container solutions at scale. He will discuss how flexible automation is the key to effectively bridging and seamlessly coordinating both IT and developer needs for component orchestration across disparate clouds – an increasingly important requirement at today’s multi-cloud enterprise.
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Developers want to create better apps faster. Static clouds are giving way to scalable systems, with dynamic resource allocation and application monitoring. You won't hear that chant from users on any picket line, but helping developers to create better apps faster is the mission of Lee Atchison, principal cloud architect and advocate at New Relic Inc., based in San Francisco. His singular job is to understand and drive the industry in the areas of cloud architecture, microservices, scalability ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
Join IBM November 2 at 19th Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how to go beyond multi-speed it to bring agility to traditional enterprise applications. Technology innovation is the driving force behind modern business and enterprises must respond by increasing the speed and efficiency of software delivery. The challenge is that existing enterprise applications are expensive to develop and difficult to modernize. This often results in what Gartner calls ...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Analytic. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...