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Soap Box Derby Receives $20,000 Grant From Akron Community Foundation


The International Soap Box Derby (ISBD) has received a $20,000 grant for general operating support from the Akron Community Foundation’s Community Fund for Civic Affairs.

“The funds will be used to increase participation in Soap Box Derby races; to continue to increase the number of competing teams in the in-school Gravity Racing Challenge for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) students; to collaborate with community partners and provide an opportunity for the underserved; and to provide an enhanced experience for racers and spectators at Derby Downs,” said Mark Gerberich, president and chief executive officer of the Soap Box Derby.

            “The Akron Community Foundation does such tremendous work in Akron, and we are grateful that our organization has gained the confidence to be recognized with this grant. These funds will go a long way in assisting the Derby in 2019, with spreading our mission and reaching more underserved youth and working with our partners in the Akron community,” Gerberich said.

            The ISBD provides opportunities for racing and STEM education with Urban League, Urban Vision, Akron Rotary Camp, the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, Axess Pointe, Launch Kenmore and other organizations in Akron to provide meaningful experiences, which is part of the Derby mission.   

About Akron Community Foundation

            The Akron Community Foundation (ACF), founded in 1955, is a public charity whose mission is to build the quality of life in Greater Akron by building permanent endowments, by providing creative, visionary and sensitive grants and by providing philanthropic leadership.  ACF is made up of more than 620 individual, family, non-profit and business charitable funds that are committed to the Akron community. 

About Soap Box Derby

            The 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.