Monday, June 18, 2012

Easton Soap Box Derby Race Seeks More Sponsors

By Christina Georgiou

The 16th annual Easton Soap Box Derby race was held yesterday, Sunday, June 17.

Though it's held on Father's Day, the event is one that involves whole families, who clearly had a great time.

Nearly everyone had a role to play in the racing experience too, as there are many tasks involved, from tallying scores to hauling the racing cars to the top of the hill at Sixth Street to cheering on the young racers to cleaning up when the excitement is over.

That the day was overcast didn't dampen the fun, and many actually said the weather was perfect, as it provided a cool breeze.

The racers, assisted by family and organizers, work on the soapbox cars as needed at the derby, which are built from kits. Each car costs about $400 to $500, estimated one volunteer.

But those costs are steep for many of the young racers and their families, said Easton Soap Box Derby organizer Kent Finkbeiner, of Palmer Township, so many are sponsored by local businesses and organizations, such as the Cub Scouts and the Kiwanis.
Dennis Perez makes adjustments on
his Purple Cow Creamery sponsored
soapbox racer.

However, in the last couple of years, sponsorship, as well as participation, has dwindled, Finkbeiner said, adding that he's been in charge of the race for a number of years, and his own children are now too old for the sport. He said he continues organizing the event because he doesn't want to see it die.

"It's such a family-oriented sport," he said, noting too that in a lot of "race cities" the event is fully sponsored and organized by the local business association as a way to attract more people to town.

"I'd like to see more involvement," Finkbeiner said. "I've been doing it for so many years."

Though he'd like to be able to pass his organizer title to someone else, he's already looking to next year and  for more sponsors. 

Sponsors, in addition to the satisfaction of helping out a good cause, get advertising space on the sides of the racers. Seen Sunday were the names of several Easton businesses, including the Purple Cow Creamery and Certified Chemical Company.

It's never too early to get involved, as the racers usually go to many races in season and the soapbox cars, several of which he owns and loans to the young racers, need to be built and maintained, Finkbeiner added.

Those wanting to sponsor the Easton Soapbox Derby in 2013 or an individual soapbox racer and those that just want to get involved should contact Kent Finkbeiner via email.

Janice Wetzel, of Macungie, keeps track of the race heats, while Leslie
Finkbeinger, of Palmer Township, announces the winners.

































Dennis Perez wins another heat, driving the Purple Cow Creamery soapbox racer.





The young soapbox racers help with clean up.
Tara Casey, left, 12, is seen with her brother Kevin Casey,
16, who won first place in the Super Stock Division. Tara
wasn't allowed to race because she's already won
first place in Super Stock at the Easton Soap Box
Derby in 2011, after taking first place in the Stock
Division in 2009...and because she's a 7th Place World
Soapbox  Derby Champion after winning the title
in Akron, Ohio in 2011.


That the Easton Soap Box Derby is on Father's Day is not forgotten.






2012 Easton Soapbox Derby Winners

Dennis Perez receives
his first place trophy.

Jarius Negron carries off
his second place trophy,
which is nearly as big
as he is.

Stock Division

First Place - Dennis Perez
Second Place - Jarius Negron
Third Place - Elijah Palmer
Fourth Place - Skyler Patricia
Fifth Place - Devin Lucheros
Sixth Place - Miles Yengst
Seventh Place - Edgar Perez




Super Stock Division                                                                                  
Daniel Guthmiller and Kevin Casey pose for a photo with
their soapbox racers.

First Place - Kevin Casey
Second Place - Daniel Guthmiller
Third Place - Mark DeJesus
Fourth Place - Romont Pearyer
Fifth Place - Ryan Kutzler
Sixth Place - Jacob Wodleigh
Seventh Place - Tony Serrano
Eighth Place - Codi Consentino

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