FirstEnergyAll-American Soap Box Derby Countdown

Local History

The Soap Box Derby is a family oriented event in which children and their parents participate in the greatest amateur racing program in the world. The Soap Box Derby teaches youngsters teamwork, perseverance, the spirit of competition, and basic construction skills. The Soap Box Derby is a youth racing program for kids ages 7 to 20. The kids build a car that they sit in and race against other kids using merely gravity to power the cars.

The Sertoma Mile High Soap Box Derby (SMHSBD) first started in 2007 when a couple of fellow Sertomans, who were already very involved in soap box derby racing, approached Jerry Stander to build some ramps and beseeched the Sertoma groups around Denver to sponsor a local racing program. The response was well received and with the cooperation of Sertoma, the city of Littleton, and other local sponsors, SMHSBD started running the All American local championship race in the streets of Littleton by the Euclid Middle School. The rally races were first run in Aurora. In the seventh year, we were fortunate enough to move all races to the Arapahoe County fair grounds using a well-sloped road by the regional park and Arapahoe county sheriff sub station.

Throughout all these years, the Standers have been integral in the existance of the SMHSBD program. Not only do they provide the location (Fix Auto Highlands Ranch) for all meetings, clinics, fundraisers and storage of supplies and equipment, but they (Bernie, Jerry, Bob, and Dan) have been active in all aspects of the race program. The entire Stander family continues to do whatever is needed for the sport and the kids each and every day. They are the backbone of the organization. Dan does an outstanding announcing and explaining the sport to our spectators. Jerry continues to lead in special projects that make our organization unique like the mini track, ramps, trailers and many, many other projects that make this organization better. Bob is a Co-Director. Bernie is the main contact person and coordinator of all things “Stander” and helps in countless ways including being secretary and head Time Keeper. Their commitment is a huge undertaking in support of the program in every aspect. They do all of this without question, while running their successful Collision Repair business. John (Buzz) Pankoff has been involved since the second year and has been the Co-Director for many years. He has offered the major experience and knowledge required in the planning and running of the program.

SMHSBD is a participant within the All American Soap Box Derby program in Akron, Ohio where the international races are run. The participants are divided into regions for the administration of local races. SMHSBD is in Region 4 along with Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Each state within the region provides rally and local championship races to determine the winning racers that get to go to Akron for the international race. 

For a viewing of the first Sertoma Mile High race, click the following link:

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See Mile High Race Info for race information specific to the SMHSBD program.