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Soap Box Derby Hall of Fame Will Induct Three New Members During Race Week in July 2019


Three long-time volunteers will be inducted into the Soap Box Derby Hall of Fame during the post-race awards ceremony for the 82nd FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby on the evening of Saturday, July 20.

“The Soap Box Derby Hall of Fame recognizes the significant contributions and efforts of individuals who make it possible for the Soap Box Derby program to have an impact on the lives of young people throughout the United States and other parts of the world,” said Mark Gerberich, president and chief executive officer of International Soap Box Derby.  “The three 2019 honorees have been active and dedicated volunteers for decades.”

The 2019 inductees are:            

WILL LOOMAN, Tallmadge, Ohio. Will Looman, 77, began volunteering for the Akron local Soap Box Derby organization in Sbd Hof Looman 20191980, and served on its board of directors from 1983 through 1996.  He was director of the Akron local race from 1987 through 1993, during which time he also began volunteering in technical roles for the All-American Soap Box Derby.  In the early 1990s, he joined the All-American’s National Control Board (now called the Racing Commission, the top technical and race operations body), on which he continues to serve. Looman was commission chairman from 2012 through 2014, and has served as race director of the All-American world championships since 2012.  He retired from Goodyear in 2018, after 54 years’ service as a mechanical engineer.    

BRIAN GRAHAM,  Fallbrook, Calif. Brian Graham, 66, helped establish the Soap Box Derby program in Oceanside, Calif., which staged its first race in 1995.  He served as local race director as well as a board Sbd Hof Graham 2019member from 1995 through 2005.  He joined the All-American Soap Box Derby’s rally commission in 1997, and served as its chairman from 2015 through 2017.  He became an assistant regional director in 1998, and has served as Region 2 director since 2014.  Brian has been active in the California Family Soap Box Derby Association and has served as announcer for many Soap Box Derby events throughout California and during race week in Akron. He is an author and public motivational speaker.


ED HARMON, Akron.  Edgar “Ed” Harmon, 85, is a life-long Akron resident who raced in the Akron local race for three years beginning in 1947.  He returned to the Soap Box Derby scene in 1985, when his oldest grandson first raced. He became a board member for the Akron local organization in 1998, then a member of the A-Team technical support group for the All-American Soap Box Derby.  Harmon has contributed his technical expertise for Sbd Hof Harmon 2019local races in Akron and in Portage County, Ohio, as well as at the All-American championships and SuperKids events by setting up electronic systems for communications, safety, security, timing and race operations. Harmon retired as an instrumentation specialist with 45 years’ service from Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems (formerly Goodyear Aerospace).

Gerberich said the 2019 honorees will bring the total number of inductees to 74 since the Hall of Fame was established in 1997.