2018 Toyota Everyday Heroes Announced at espnW Summit

October 5th, 2018 by

On Oct. 2, at the ninth annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit presented by Toyota, Toyota announced the 2018 Toyota Everyday Heroes for the sixth year in a row. Toyota is proud to give recognition and monetary support to incredible women and outstanding organizations.

The Heroes

These women are all working toward improving the circumstances for women and girls in their communities via sports and have been awarded grants totaling $10,000. All four of the Toyota Everyday Heroes are founders of sports clubs and initiatives that aim to get girls into athletics.


Cecelie Owens from Buffalo, New York, started G.I.R.L.S. (Goals, Integrity, Respect, Leadership, and Sports) Sports Foundation, a nonprofit she founded in 2007. As the first African-American woman inducted into the Buffalo State College Athletic Hall of Fame and the Director of the National Youth Sports Program, Cecelie is a national leader in youth sports.

Girls Play Sports

Another organization recognized by Toyota is Girls Play Sports in Evanston, Illinois, which was founded by Liz Brieva and is now run by Brieva and Executive Director Megan Livatino. Both women have a long history of playing sports and managing sports programs, and Girls Play Sports has made a huge difference in the Evanston community for young female athletes.

Courage League Sports

Finally, Melissa Clarke-Wharff leads Courage League Sports in Des Moines, Iowa, which provides year-round sports teams and programming for developmentally and physically disabled children and adults. This inspiring and necessary organization serves the more than 50,000 disabled members of the greater Des Moines area.

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