They were off to the races on a sunny Saturday, June 8th, for the inaugural Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph Soap Box Derby, presented by Mark Wilson’s Better Used Cars. More than 20 children registered for this first-time fundraising event at Crestwicke Baptist Church and the only thing bigger than the dollars raised for BBBSG were the smiles on the children’s faces as they came flying down the course. To plan, execute and deliver the event, BBBSG partnered with Calvary Baptist Church in Cambridge, who provided the soap boxes, starting trailer, on-site mechanics and a group of wonderful volunteers who came together to provide a great experience for local youth. Calvary has run their own annual soap box derby event since 2004, and brought a wealth of experience to BBBSG, helping to bring the local event to life.
“You see four kids coming down the hill every couple of minutes or so,” said BBBSG Executive Director Mike Treadgold. “Their smiles are so big and they can’t run up the hill fast enough to get back in the soap box again.”
While the first year for this event was entirely racing for fun, BBBSG hopes to add additional competitive streams in future years, separating racers by age group, and introducing an elimination-style schedule of races that will ultimately crown a soap box champion. 2019 was a year for establishing partnerships, learning the intricacies of executing this type of event and gauging public appetite for this type of initiative. By all accounts, these key objectives were achieved and BBBSG is looking forward to growing the event in the years to come.
More than $6,000 was raised for BBBSG’s mentoring programs through this event, which also benefited from sponsorship support from Guelph Nissan, Hammond Power Solutions, iCon Alliance, TransX and Penske Truck Leasing.
“Our organization is so grateful for the support from all the local businesses and organizations who helped make year one of this event such a great success,” said Treadgold. “2020 promises to be even bigger — we’re excited to make the Big Brothers Big Sisters Soap Box Derby an annual feature in our calendar of fundraising offerings.”