NewsThank You Thursday - FirstEnergy Corp.09.29.2016 It was March 28, 2012 when Akron-based First Energy announced that they would become the title sponsor of the 75th All-American Soap Box Derby. It was the first title sponsor the International Soap Box Derby (ISBD) had for the World Championship race in five years. Nearly three years prior to FirstEnergy’s announcement the Derby was near financial collapse when it did not have the resources to pay down a $600,000 loan. On the date of the press conference announcing the new partnership then CEO of FirstEnergy, Anthony J. Alexander, had this to say: “Through this sponsorship, FirstEnergy is doing its part to keep the tradition alive for future generations. I’ve always appreciated the way this event brings families together and builds stronger ties between generations. The Derby speaks to the inner child in all of us. And maybe more important, it helps young people learn the basics of design and engineering – as well as experience the joys of good, old-fashioned teamwork and competition. The Soap Box Derby started out as a small race but quickly grew to become an All-American tradition…and today is a global phenomenon with racers from around the world competing for the honor of taking their hand-built cars down this very hill in Akron, and maybe even leaving our city as champions. It’s an experience that Derby competitors never forget…and for that, we can all be proud. For these and many other reasons, keeping the Derby tradition alive was an easy decision at FirstEnergy. We’re just fortunate to share our excitement with all of you here today.” Because of FirstEnergy’s decision to lend its name to the All-American Soap Box Derby the ISBD has been able to turn the page on the financial problems that plagued the organization nearly seven years ago. Because of FirstEnergy’s commitment to the program the Derby has been able to attract a number of new partners and foundations to help us blend a rich heritage with a zeal for continuous improvement. The Derby would like to say THANK YOU to FirstEnergy Corp. for helping us continue our mission of building knowledge and character, and creating meaningful experiences through collaboration and fair and honest competition. Then CEO of FirstEnergy Anthony Alexander announcing the sponosorship of the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby on March 28, 2012. Derby racers Aaron Rathbun, Megan Gongaware (2010 Local Stock World Champion and Jessica Rathbun with Anthony Alexander. Current FirstEnergy CEO and 2016 Soap Box Derby Hall of Fame inductee Chuck Jones.