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
Regardless of what business you’re in, it’s increasingly a software-driven business. Consumers’ rising expectations for connected digital and physical experiences are driving what some are calling the "Customer Experience Challenge.” In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Marco Morales, Director of Global Solutions at CollabNet, will discuss how organizations are increasingly adopting a discipline of Value Stream Mapping to ensure that the software they are producing is poised to ...
IBM helps FinTechs and financial services companies build and monetize cognitive-enabled financial services apps quickly and at scale. Hosted on IBM Bluemix, IBM’s platform builds in customer insights, regulatory compliance analytics and security to help reduce development time and testing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Tom Eck, Industry Platforms CTO at IBM Cloud, will discuss how these tools simplify the time-consuming tasks of selection, mapping and data integration, allowing developer...
In order to meet the rapidly changing demands of today’s customers, companies are continually forced to redefine their business strategies in order to meet these needs, stay relevant and continue to see profitable growth. IoT deployment and development is integral in this transformation, and today businesses are increasingly seeing the value of investing their resources into IoT deployments. These technologies are able increase ROI through projects such as connecting supply chains or enabling sm...
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.
For financial firms, the cloud is going to increasingly become a crucial part of dealing with customers over the next five years and beyond, particularly with the growing use and acceptance of virtual currencies. There are new data storage paradigms on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive financial data around the world without touching terrestrial networks. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Cliff Beek, President of Cloud Constellation Corporation, w...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale, a global pure play Infrastructure as a Service provider and strategic partner of Dassault Systèmes, 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. Founded in 2010, Outscale simplifies infrastructure complexities and boosts the business agility of its customers. Outscale delivers a secure, reliable and industrial strength solution for its customers, which in...
Cloud applications are seeing a deluge of requests to support the exploding advanced analytics market. “Open analytics” is the emerging strategy to deliver that data through an open data access layer, in the cloud, to be directly consumed by external analytics tools and popular programming languages. An increasing number of data engineers and data scientists use a variety of platforms and advanced analytics languages such as SAS, R, Python and Java, as well as frameworks such as Hadoop and Spark...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Brad Winett, Senior Technologist for DDN Storage, will present several current, end-user environments that are using object storage at scale for cloud deployments including private cloud and cloud providers. Details on the top considerations of features and functions for selecting object storage will be included. Brad will also touch on recent developments in tiering technologies that deliver single solution and an end-user view of data across files and objects...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of 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. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs ofte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri, Inc, a leading provider of enterprise cloud infrastructure, 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. Tintri offers an enterprise cloud platform built with public cloud-like web services and RESTful APIs. Organizations use Tintri all-flash storage with scale-out and automation as a foundation for their own clouds – to build agile development environments...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DivvyCloud 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. DivvyCloud software enables organizations to achieve their cloud computing goals by simplifying and automating security, compliance and cost optimization of public and private cloud infrastructure. Using DivvyCloud, customers can leverage programmatic Bots to identify and remediate common cloud problems in rea...
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, will motivate why realizing the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insigh...
While some vendors scramble to create and sell you a fancy solution for monitoring your spanking new Amazon Lambdas, hear how you can do it on the cheap using just built-in Java APIs yourself. By exploiting a little-known fact that Lambdas aren’t exactly single threaded, you can effectively identify hot spots in your serverless code. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, David Martin, Principal Product Owner at CA Technologies, will give a live demonstration and code walkthrough, showing how to ov...
The 21st International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Machine Learning 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 busin...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...