TAMPA, Fla., July 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Toyota Motor North America and the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) announced the winner of the 2016 Toyota Sienna wheelchair accessible vehicle awarded through National Mobility Awareness Month's Local Heroes Contest. Steve Karmgard of Genoa, Illinois has won a customized minivan with conversions by BraunAbility. Karmgard who was injured in a diving accident at the age of 18, has lived his life moving forward by working full time, and also volunteering for the organization Canine Companions as a speaker, and along with his wife recently served as a chairperson raising $90,000 for their local chapter. The online Local Heroes Contest had 928 Local Hero entries that received 1.1 million votes.
"Toyota is very proud to be a part of National Mobility Awareness Month's Local Heroes Contest," said Bill Burris, Toyota Fleet Marketing Trade Shows, Events & Mobility Sales Manager. "Independence is what Toyota Mobility offers to its customers. Through an array of options, accessible Sienna vans allow for detailed customization to meet nearly every type of mobility challenge." Having received a 5-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Sienna has the most standard airbags in its class, and offers a pre-collision radar system to determine if a front-end collision is imminent, and then applies the brakes while the front seat passenger's seatbelts retract. It was also named one of Kelly Blue Books Best Family Cars for 2016.
"The Local Heroes Contest is a rewarding part of what we do at NMEDA. The Quality Assurance Program (QAP) that all NMEDA members subscribe to ensure that the best and safest mobility options are provided," said Dave Hubbard, NMEDA CEO. "Each year the awareness for mobility challenges and solutions continues to grow and we thank our members, contest sponsors and the hundreds of communities and thousands of individuals who rallied this year to make this special once again. I also want to personally thank the millions who took the time to read and learn about all of the Local Heroes in our contest and then cast their votes."
About National Mobility Awareness Month
Each year, May is National Mobility Awareness Month and is the annual celebration that encourages seniors, veterans, caregivers and people with disabilities to enjoy active, mobile lifestyles. Founded in 1989 as a not-for-profit trade association, the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) supports the awareness month with the assistance of approximately 600 mobility equipment dealers, manufacturers and driver rehabilitation specialists located in the United States and Canada dedicated to expanding opportunities for people with disabilities. For updates, please visit MobilityAwarenessMonth.com, as well as Facebook, Twitter (@NMEDAcom) and Pinterest.
About Toyota Motor North America
Toyota (NYSE: TM), creator of the Prius hybrid and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, we've built more than 30 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 44,000 people (more than 34,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.8 million cars and trucks (nearly 2.5 million in the U.S.) in 2015 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today.
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SOURCE Toyota Motor North America; National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association