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espnW and Toyota Announce “Everyday Heroes” at 2014 espnW: Women + Sports Summit

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Last night at the 2014 espnW: Women + Sports Summit presented by Toyota, espnW and Toyota announced the second 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.

“Toyota is proud to partner with espnW and celebrate the journeys of women who inspire us and their communities,” said Dionne Colvin-Lovely, Director of Traditional and Emerging Media, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. “These three amazing women are the epitome of Everyday Heroes, supporting women and girls through sports and allowing them to go places they never imagined possible.”

The 2014 Toyota “Everyday Heroes” are:

Dr. Kimberley S. Clay (Co-founder, Play Like a Girl!)

Clay founded Play Like a Girl! – a non-profit organization based in Dallas dedicated to creating early, positive experiences girls need to develop a lifelong passion for physical activity – in 2004 with her husband, Dr. Mark Clay. Play Like A Girl! programs address many diverse issues in girls’ health including body image, eating disorders and self-esteem.

Monica Gonzalez (Founder, Gonzo Soccer)

Gonzalez, a former captain of the Mexican Women’s National Soccer Team, is the founder of Gonzo Soccer – a non-profit soccer and leadership academy targeted at girls aged 8-16 in underserved communities of Chicago and Houston. Participants are taught soccer and life skills training from leading female soccer coaches with the goals of improving health and fitness, boosting academic standing and personal development.

Claire Smallwood (Co-founder and Executive Director of SheJumps)

Smallwood co-founded SheJumps, a non-profit organization focused on increasing female participation in outdoor activities, in 2007. SheJumps programs look to ensure resources are available to younger girls and women to get outside through adventure, education, and, community building.

“espnW is proud to again team with Toyota on this worthy recognition,” said espnW vice president Laura Gentile. “This year’s honorees truly personify what it means to be a hero, and they inspire all of us with their selfless efforts.”

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 Mobolaji Akiode, founder of the Hope 4 Girls foundation; Barb Lazarus, owner and founder of the Game On! Foundation and Game On! Sports Camps 4 Girls; and Justine Siegal, the founder of Baseball for All.

About Toyota

Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world’s top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through its Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands.  Over the past 50 years, Toyota has built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where it operates 14 manufacturing plants and directly employs more than 40,000 people.  The company’s 1,800 North American dealerships sold more than 2.5 million cars and trucks in 2013 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.

About espnW

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.

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