Soap Box Derby

Posted By Fgrant

With the Northern Maine Soap Box Derby being the major recipient of the Rotary auction money this year, Andy Mooers and Andy Sloat spoke to the Rotarians at a recent meeting of the Club.

The first derby in Houlton was held in 1996 on Drake’s Hill. Much work was done to set up the hill for racing, all with the local neighborhood cheering them on. After much brainstorming, planning and fund raising, the Wayne Miller Memorial Derby Hill was opened in 1999 in Community Park. By then, the Houlton derby had grown to be the biggest derby in the country and held that designation from 1997 to 2001.

Many people and organizations have contributed countless man hours and dollars to make it what it is today. The Houlton Rotary Club has been a contributor since day one. During any given derby, there are over 50 volunteers working with the kids and on their cars. Many of the volunteers today were racers when they were youngsters. The emphasis of the derby is having fun and learning the whole process….from the kids getting donations to fund their car, constructing their car, and all the other things involved before they finally get to make that first run down the hill. Both speakers agreed that the best part of the whole process is seeing the grins on the faces of the racers when they make that first run!

The major proceeds from the Rotary auction this year will go to the Soap Box Derby committee to help construct a building on the hill. This will provide a much-needed space for storage of equipment and will protect the racers and their cars from the sun and rain during the actual races.

Pictured left to right:

Andy Mooers, Darryl “Scott” White, Andy Sloat

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