FirstEnergyAll-American Soap Box Derby Countdown


Soap Box Derby Receives Grants From Akron Community Foundation for General Operating


The International Soap Box Derby (ISBD) announced it has received a $16,000-grant from the Kathleen Joyce Fund of Akron Community Foundation, a $5,000-grant from the John A. McAlonan Fund of Akron Community Foundation, a $2,000-grant from the Allio Memorial Fund of Akron Community Foundation, and a $2,000-grant from the Daniel l. and Sherida L. Pohl Fund of Akron Community Foundation to be used for general operating support.

These funds will help enhance the overall experience for racers, their families and spectators visiting Akron for the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby in July and the many other events held throughout the year. This support will expand the Soap Box Derby’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education programs and grow participation in Soap Box Derby programs around the country.

"The International Soap Boxy Derby is a uniquely Akron cultural asset, and like many of our area nonprofits, the organization has faced a challenging year due to the pandemic. We believe it’s crucial now more than ever to support the Soap Box Derby’s programming and outreach, helping to continue a tradition that goes back more than 80 years," said John Garofalo, vice president of community investment at Akron Community Foundation. "We’re also thankful for the organization’s ability to adapt in recent months as it provides creative learning opportunities for local students with at-home STEM learning and car assembly kits."

“We are excited to continue our partnership with Akron Community Foundation,” said Mark Gerberich, president and chief executive office, ISBD. “With COVID, our relationship with the Akron Community Foundation means a lot. We appreciate the continued support of the operational grant, which is crucial, especially in the current year.”

The ISBD provides opportunities for racing and STEM education with the Summit County Schools and Akron Public Schools, including the I Promise School, Salvation Army, South Street Ministries, Launch Kenmore, Akron Urban League, Fatherhood Initiative, Akron Children’s Museum, Towpath Trail, Holy Family school, Boy scouts of America Great Trail Council and other organizations in Akron. This grant will help further the ISBD’s mission by providing meaningful experiences through fair and honest racing competitions, STEM curriculums, and other community-focused activities.