Teams Behind the Team

Toyota dealers help athletes get to the Special Olympics World Games
by Dan Nied
July/August 2015
Teams Behind the Team
Special Olympics World Games
Toyota dealers across the nation helped athletes get to the World Games, including Clint Bowyer (rear center), Toyota dealer and Team Toyota NASCAR driver. Bowyer joined 2015 World Games Global Messengers in the Circle of Inclusion at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
Joseph Toyota in Cincinnati fueled the Olympic dreams of local athletes. The dealership donated $2,000 to help Sheryl Fairbanks and other Team USA athletes make the trip to the Games. Another $1,000 was raised through a promotion in which the dealer donated $10 on behalf of every service customer.
A lot went into the planning of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games that took place July 25 through Aug. 2 in Los Angeles. But that was nothing compared to the displays of courage and skill shown by the participating athletes and the dedication of their coaches, families, friends and supporters.

“Few people appreciate the team behind the team it takes to make a World Games experience possible for our athletes, and all at no cost to the athlete or their family,” said Chris Hahn, Head of Delegation for Special Olympics USA. “It is the support of partners like Toyota, that made this once-in-a-lifetime experience a reality for the athletes who represented our nation this summer.”

Continuing a 30-year history with Special Olympics, Toyota was the official automotive partner of the 2015 World Games.

Nearly 700 Toyota employees volunteered at the Games and the company provided 400 vehicles to transport athletes and coaches around Los Angeles, as well as support vehicles for relay and torch runs. Toyota dealers got involved too, raising funds and awareness to help local athletes and their supporters. Here are just a few examples:

Kerry Toyota in Florence, Ky., donated $2,000 to the World Games at an event featuring Team USA rhythmic gymnast Danielle Leigh Blakeney. She joined other local athletes to raise awareness for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Kansas was a big stopping point for the Unified Relay Across America, which began its cross-country tour of the nation in Maine on May 26. Eddy’s Toyota of Wichita got into the spirit by hosting a World Games celebration on June 23 at the Wichita Wingnuts baseball game.

Read about Beaman Toyota and Rochester Toyota’s support of the Special Olympics World Games athletes.

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