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Burton D. Morgan Foundation Awards Grant to International Soap Box Derby in Celebration of 50 Years


Burton MorganBurton D. Morgan Foundation has awarded a grant of $50,000 to International Soap Box Derby, the third of four special $50,000 grants to the community that Morgan Foundation is announcing throughout the year in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

The grant was used to replace a utility vehicle and a pickup truck, and for improvements to the grounds, such as the installation of permanent trashcans and benches along the trackside walking path and placement of a set of bleachers at the top of the track.   The grant also enabled the organization to purchase items for events, such as tables, chairs, and canopies that they previously rented.

A celebrated institution in Akron since 1934, the Derby has a long history of bringing children and families together to build cars and race them. The Derby’s multi-faceted education program includes the All-American Racing Program, Gravity Racing Challenge STEM Team Competition, STEM Summer Camps, and a Mini Soap Box Derby Car Program.

Bobby Dinkins, International Soap Box Derby Vice-President, stated, “Over the last several years we’ve grown the number of events at Derby Downs. Our goal every year is to create meaningful experiences for everyone who uses our facility. We are so grateful to Burton D. Morgan Foundation for their support of helping us continue our mission here at the Derby. We were able to purchase a number of items through the grant that will give our users a more enjoyable experience at Derby Downs.”

Foundation CEO and President Deborah Hoover commented, “Morgan Foundation believes in the enduring educational value of the Soap Box Derby program for all the ways it continues to instill problem solving skills and a spirit of innovation in young people.  The Foundation's 50th Anniversary grant will enable Akron's famous Derby Downs to better showcase the successes of these young inventors and comfortably accommodate the many enthusiastic visitors who come to cheer for them.”

In keeping with its mission to champion the entrepreneurial spirit, Burton D. Morgan Foundation supports programs and projects at the youth, collegiate, and adult levels that are designed to build competencies in entrepreneurship and innovation.  The Foundation also provides support to the Greater Akron community with non-mission related grants, which are awarded proactively each year.  To mark its 50 years of philanthropy, Morgan Foundation announced earlier this year that it would award four grants of $50,000 to community organizations.  Grants to Akron Soul Train and Portage Animal Protective League were announced earlier this year.