The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach has been putting on world class races since the 1975 USAC/SCCA co-sanctioned Formula 5000 series first came to this California city.
The Grand Prix Foundation that gives back to the community has been operating since 1991, contributing more than $2.75 million to a wide number of charitable organizations throughout the Long Beach area.
In 2011 alone, the Foundation raised more than $175,000 to local charities including Miller Children's Hospital, Women's Shelter Long Beach, Operation Jump Start, the Short Stop Program, Ronald McDonald House and the Long Beach Century Club, as well as the Robert E. Leslie Scholarship program for graduating high school seniors.
The Grand Prix Foundation plays a key role in building excitement for the 38th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach; in 2012 it has two premier events. First is the Toyota Grand Prix Charity Golf Tournament at Old Ranch Country Club in Seal Beach, takes place on Monday, April 9 starting at 9AM with a shotgun start at 11AM. A cocktail reception, awards banquet and live auction follows the tournament. The second is the Toyota Grand Prix Charity Ball at the Westin Long Beach adjacent to the circuit on Friday, April 13. The Charity Ball starts at 6PM with a cocktail reception and silent auction followed by dinner, dancing and live auction with many unique opportunities and one-of-a-kind items at 7:30PM.
Charities designated to benefit from this year's brace of Foundation activities include Miller Children's Hospital and Children's Hospital of Orange County, the Long Beach Area Special Olympics and the Robert E. Leslie Scholarship Program.
"The Grand Prix Foundation is very proud of the work we do in support of local charities," noted president Rick Duree, "while at the same time playing an active role in the overall experience that is the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach."
This might be just another plug for a charitable organization, but it's really admirable that this organization stresses low administrative costs and more than 200 local volunteers, giving back 90 cents of every dollar raised, Duree accented. An 11-member board of directors selects the distribution process.