HAZARD — The Soap Box Derby is a time-honored tradition in Hazard, that is renowned nationwide. The Kiwanis Club of Hazard currently serves as the Derby’s organizing sponsor. Last August, a 24-foot box trailer was stolen, which contained Soap Box Derby cars and all the tools, scales, timekeeping equipment and other materials necessary to conduct the annual Soap Box Derby Race. Although the trailer was eventually recovered, with the soap box cars still inside, there was still substantial damage done to the materials. Now, the Kiwanis Club is seeking help from the community to make much needed repairs.
The overall damage caused by the thieves equals approximately $10,000 and includes repairs to the trailer, a set of go-kart scales, Soap Box Derby car repairs, and replacement of tools that were stolen and never recovered. A Go Fund Me page has been established by Kiwanis to accept donations. The page can be found by searching “Hazard Soap Box Derby Recovery Fund” on gofundme.com. Kiwanis Club of Hazard can also be found on Facebook.
According to the Go Fund Me page, “The Hazard Kiwanis Club has operated the local Soap Box Derby Race each spring for the past 18 years with a total of over 450 young people participating. The two champion racers from Hazard (one from each of two divisions) goes on to compete in the All American Soap Box Derby Race in Akron, Ohio each summer with Kiwanis paying a good portion of the families’ expenses. The Hazard Soap Box Derby is an event that has positively touched many families in Perry County and surrounding counties. Many of the young people who participate in the Soap Box Derby Race are underprivileged and pay nothing to participate. Those advancing on to Akron are sometimes young people who have very few opportunities to travel outside this area and have lasting memories from their experiences. This is a great community event.”
The Soap Box Derby is usually held downtown in April each year. Many competitors begin working on their cars and preparing for the event well in advance of the race.
Sam Neace can be reached at 606-629-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.