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Town to honor local gold medalist Maggie Steffens at Danville d'Elegance

Two-day event raises money for Parkinson's disease research

The Danville community is set to recognize local water polo star Maggie Steffens, a gold-medal winner this summer at the Olympics, with a special ceremony Sunday afternoon during the Concours d'Elegance event downtown.

Part of the 12th annual Danville d'Elegance weekend event series, Sunday's Concours d'Elegance will fill downtown streets with automobiles, yachts, motorcycles and vintage trailers -- all in an effort to raise money to support Parkinson's disease research and patient care.

The series also features the Tour d'Elegance on Saturday morning and the private Gala Dinner d'Elegance on Saturday evening, with proceeds from all events benefiting The Michael J. Fox Foundation and The Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center.

"Thanks to the ongoing efforts of our volunteers, we've become 'the little Concours that could,'" event co-founder Jim Edlund said in a statement to the town of Danville.

"We now have a full weekend of events, and of equal importance, corporate sponsors that view our program as a worthwhile cause and credible outlet for their contributions. The support of our sponsors, as well as our local community, is enriching our program and ability to annually keep surpassing our financial goals," he added.

In addition to the vintage vehicle display, the Concours d'Elegance will feature food, wine tasting, raffles and other activities downtown Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event will host the special recognition ceremony for Steffens, who won her second straight gold medal and Olympic tournament Most Valuable Player award last month during the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Steffens, 23, was captain of the U.S. women's water polo team that swept through the tournament undefeated, capping off its perfect run with a 12-5 win against Italy in the gold-medal match Aug. 19.

The Danville native led all scorers in the international tournament with 17 goals.

Part of a powerhouse water polo family, Steffens earned her first gold medal and MVP at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London -- on a team that also featured her older sister, Jessica.

Danville Mayor Karen Stepper will present a special proclamation from the Danville Town Council to Steffens in honor of her 2016 Summer Olympics success. The ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday on the Danville d'Elegance stage on Hartz Avenue, between School and Church streets.

Members of the public will have the chance to hear from the gold medalist as well as take photos with her during the event.

The Danville d'Elegance Foundation has raised more than $3 million since 2004 -- with the help of corporate and personal sponsors as well as the annual weekend event series fundraiser – to support Parkinson's disease patients and the fight for a cure.

The Tour d'Elegance is a round-trip rally style tour starting in Walnut Creek and making its way along the Napa Valley back roads on Saturday. The Gala Dinner d'Elegance follows that evening, invitation-only at a private residence.

For more information on Danville d'Elegance, visit the event website.

Sunday's Concours d'Elegance starts for spectators at 11 a.m., with the "Race Car Parade" set for noon and the awards ceremony at 3 p.m. before the event wraps up at 4 p.m.

Several street closures will be in effect from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday:

* Hartz Avenue between Diablo Road and Hartz Way

* Prospect Avenue between the Clock Tower Municipal Parking Lot and Front Street

* Church Street between Railroad Municipal Parking Lot and the entrance of the Village Theatre Municipal Parking Lot

* School Street between Railroad and Hartz avenues.

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