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Ohio Soap Box Derby Champions Honored At Statehouse


On May 20, 2015 more than 100 Soap Box Derby® Champions, representing more than 60 Ohio communities, were recognized for their achievements at a Statehouse Recognition Day held in their honor in Columbus.

The honorees included 71 Ohio local and rally Champions who competed in the 77th FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship; 21 team members that competed in the Gravity Racing Challenge® STEM Team Competition from Tallmadge Middle School (Super Stock Champion), Austintown Middle School (Stock Champion), Louisville High School (Open Class division race and design competition Champion) and Westlake High School (Open Class division innovative braking system design Champion); and 12 Super Kids Champions who competed in the National Super Kids Classic.

Senator Frank LaRose and his staff arranged for the Ohio Soap Box Derby Champions to receive individual Commendations from their District State Senators and Representatives acknowledging their accomplishments. "I was thrilled to recognize the Soap Box Derby Champions," said Senator LaRose. "These young people have demonstrated tremendous skill, perseverance and creativity in constructing and racing their cars."

Following this meeting, Senator LaRose presented the Champions with their Proclamations from Governor Kasich. After tours of the State House and Governor's Office, the Champions were recognized by Ohio's 99 State Representatives during their House session.  State Representatives Anthony DeVitis and Greta Johnson both expressed the positive impact that Soap Box Derby has on the communities and lives of our youth.

Super Kids parents Nicole and Richard Jackson said, "We are so happy for our two children to be able to compete in the Super Kids Race where they can be accepted for who they are."

After being recognized at the Ohio State House, Super Kids Champion Sarah Jackson said, "This experience was almost as exhilarating as going down the hill in a Soap Box Derby car!"

Tallmadge teacher Justin Christopher said, "It's the goal of the Tallmadge City Schools to have a streamlined K-12 STEM curriculum, and the Gravity Racing Challenge is a perfect platform onto which we can build part of this curriculum."

About International Soap Box DerbyThe Soap Box Derby is an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to build knowledge and character, and to create meaningful experiences through collaboration and fair and honest competition. The Derby's Core Values and Drivers include: Youth Education and Leadership Development; Family Engagement and Enrichment; Honesty, Integrity and Perseverance; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Teamwork and Collaboration; Mentoring; Volunteerism; and Commitment to Community. The Derby's two youth initiatives are the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby racing program and the STEM-based Education Program, which provides educational opportunities for K-12 youth worldwide through Soap Box Derby racing. The Derby dates back to 1934, when the first All-American race was held in Dayton, Ohio.