The 6th Annual Saint John Soap Box Derby recently took place on Cranston Avenue. Over 160 excited children and their chaperones, volunteers, fans, and families from schools and businesses all around the Greater Saint John area came out for the competition. Mayor Don Darling and other local celebrities joined in, climbing into a soap box car of their own!
Presented by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists (APEGNB) Saint John Branch, the derby is a major source of funding for the PALS (Partners Assisting Local Schools) in the Park program hosted in partnership by the Lily Lake Pavilion, the City of Saint John Naturalist Program, PALS and the Anglophone School District – South. In total, 1400-1600 students participate in the “PALS in the Park” program each year.
PALS partners sponsoring young racers included:
Irving Pulp & Paper sponsoring St. Patrick's
NB Southern Railway sponsoring Saint Rose
Irving Paper sponsoring Glen Falls.
PALS partners co-sponsoring young racers included:
J.D. Irving, Limited co-sponsoring Hazen-White/St. Francis as well as Loch Lomond
Atlantic Towing Ltd. co-sponsoring Centennial
Race teams included children aged 7-17 paired with a supportive 4-person pit crew to aid them safely down the track. The derby had two divisions: Stock and Super Stock, with Super Stock being a larger car. Six PALS school vehicles in the Super Stock division were sponsored by J.D. Irving, Limited (JDI). “It’s very rewarding not only for the kids but for the volunteers as well. We are very blessed to have a lot of sponsorship in the community that really believe in PALS in the Park and what we’re accomplishing here. We get to send over 1,000 kids to Rockwood Park every year. Some kids who have never even seen Rockwood Park before get to experience a wonderful day there.” Tanya Horgan, APEGNB, Co-Chair, Soap Box Derby Committee comments on the day's events.
Congratulations to Carson Hoyt, the winner of the Super Stock division driving for Master Promotions! Emily May placed second in the Super Stock division driving for Saint Rose School sponsored by NB Southern Railway! Colin Ingraham was the driver for the APEGNB sponsored vehicle, coming in first place in the Stock Division. If their parents agree, the winners from each division would like to take part in the six-day All-American Soap Box Derby event taking place in Akron, Ohio on July 16th-22nd, 2017.
“The Soap Box Derby is really important because 100% of the proceeds go to the PALS in the Park program at Lily Lake at Rockwood Park. The kids are very excited to participate because they get to participate not only today but through the whole year taking part in great activities at Rockwood.” Barb Crawford, Co-Chair, Soap Box Derby Committee.
Thank you to the organizing committee, sponsors, schools, fans, and of course the competitors. Special thanks to the valuable partners in supporting the PALS in the Park program at Rockwood Park: APEGNB, the Hatheway Pavilion at Lily Lake, Anglophone School District – South, the City of Saint John, and PALS.
About Lily Lake Pavilion
Lily Lake Pavilion Inc., a registered charity & non-profit organization, operates the Hatheway Pavilion at Lily Lake and Lily’s Lakeside Casual Dining located downstairs in the Pavilion. 100% of the profit from the operations of the Pavilion and Lily’s are invested back into community programming in beautiful Rockwood Park. Children need an opportunity to experience the outdoor activities at Rockwood Park that will help contribute to practicing a healthy lifestyle. Healthy students in the present, equals a healthy community in the future.
The PALS (Partners Assisting Local Schools) Program helps address the needs associated with students living in poverty. Founded in Saint John by Mr. James K. Irving and the local school district, PALS has grown to over 30 schools in NB with close to 200 business and community partners and hundreds of volunteers. JDI PALS have dedicated over 65,000 volunteer hours since the program began.
PALS partners help impact children’s academic achievements, school spirit, motivation, social skills, sports activity, and cultural awareness. Volunteer activities include mentoring, coaching, serving breakfast, offering career guidance, organizing after school clubs, and helping behind the scenes.