A Dad's Special Connection
But as the father of a young girl living with special needs, he also knows it means so much more than that.
“When other children living with special needs can see what these athletes are capable of, that’s really life changing for them,” Turner says. “It’s very inspiring.”
In June, Turner had the opportunity to show his appreciation and gratitude. His dealership, Turner Toyota, hosted several elite U.S. triathletes and para-athletes for a pit stop as they completed a relay ride across Colorado. “Operation CO>COVID” raised more than $21,000 for athletes and communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Derick Williamson, head coach of the Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon Resident Team, helped organize the ride. The team typically trains at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, but the pandemic shut it down in mid-March.
The ride began on June 19 in Grand Junction, Colorado, and spanned 483 miles through the Rocky Mountains and into the Eastern Plains.
Turner Toyota’s hospitality was a welcome break.
“The dealership opened their doors for all the riders,” Team Toyota athlete and Paralympic bronze medalist Melissa Stockwell says. “It was so unexpected and so appreciated, so a big shout-out to Turner Toyota.”
Turner wanted to give the riders an opportunity to relax and recharge as they completed a grueling ride in the summer heat.
“It was a fun atmosphere,” Turner says. “We had food, drinks and music. I had my nieces and nephews helping out, and they really enjoyed getting a chance to see the athletes. I hope they had a good time, because we really enjoyed having them here.”