April 4, 2007 – Torrance, CA - Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. announced today that it will launch two new environmental partnerships during Earth Month, partnering with both the National Wildlife Refuge Association and the Take Pride in America School Program.
The new partnership with the National Wildlife Refuge Association will include a promotional program with its more than 500 refuge habitats, visited by more than 40 million people annually. Toyota will provide a Highlander Hybrid sport utility vehicle as the grand prize in the organization's nationwide photography contest. Last year's program drew more than 2,200 entries and this year's winner will be published in the June 2008 issue of Wildlife Refuge magazine.
Toyota's on-going partnership with Take Pride in America, a U.S. Department of Interior program, has included donations and sponsorship of National Public Lands Day. Toyota will now venture into the Take Pride in America School Program with the campaign called Creating a New Generation of Volunteers.
Creating a New Generation of Volunteers will be promoted through school systems to educate students on the importance of taking care of the environment. Toyota will donate a Prius that will be used in the Take Pride in America Voluntours, consisting of three promotional school tours that will promote and honor Take Pride in America Schools. Additionally, Toyota will sponsor the Take Pride in America School Award which will be presented to the school with the most active volunteer participation and community impact.
The Toyota "Highway of the Future: Mobile Hybrid Experience" tours the nation to educate consumers on how they can help improve the environment as well as the economic and environmental benefits of driving a hybrid vehicle. The interactive, hands-on installation will celebrate Earth Day on both coasts this year with separate exhibits at EarthFair New York and EarthFair San Diego.
EarthFair New York is an indoor/outdoor festival in and around Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall in conjunction with the Green Apple Music Festival April 20-21. The San Diego event is the city's 18th annual Earth Day celebration known as Cool the Earth. This event is the world's largest Earth Day celebration with 60,000 visitors and an alternative fuel car show in Balboa Park.
"As a company that prides itself on environmental involvement and activism, Toyota has ramped up its traditional Earth Day activities, expanding its involvement throughout the Earth-Month of April," said Ernest Bastien, vice president, Toyota vehicle operations group. "Toyota's commitment to these and our other philanthropic programs is a natural extension of our commitment to the environment and to bringing environmentally friendly transportation to everyone."
Prius is now Toyota's third best-selling passenger car, behind only Camry and Corolla. The Toyota Division and the Lexus Division are the industry's only car companies to offer three hybrid models each. This month the combined sales of Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles passed the 500,000 unit milestone, coinciding with the 10-year Anniversary of Prius.
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