Rotary Club soapbox derby race celebrates 15th anniversary

July 10, 2012

By Staff

Drivers, co-drivers, parents, Rotary Club of Issaquah members, Issaquah High School wrestlers, Liberty High School cheerleaders and student volunteers pose for a group photo at the 2011 Challenge Day gravity car races. By Greg Farrar

The 15th annual Issaquah Rotary Challenge Day Race, an event that pairs children with disabilities with a young driver of a sleek soapbox derby car, is set for July 14.

The event allows participants to experience the fun of a derby race down Second Avenue past the community center in downtown Issaquah.

For the race, the pair of youngsters climb into the seat of a sleek soapbox derby car. With the slam of the starting gate, the car’s wheels begin to turn. As gravity kicks in, the two-seater makes its way along the street.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with racing from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Other activities include adaptive cycling for children and adults with disabilities and lunch hosted by the Rotary Club of Issaquah for event participants and volunteers.

The event was inspired by the vision of longtime Issaquah resident and retired Puget Sound Energy executive Leo Finnegan, the father of an adult son with a disability.

The efforts of volunteers from the Rotary Club of Issaquah and the event’s sponsors, which include Life Enrichment Options, Fred Meyer, Timber Ridge at Talus, Evergreen Ford and Michael’s Chevrolet of Issaquah, make the event possible.

LEO seeks to promote a good quality of life within the Issaquah community for citizens who have developmental disabilities, especially as it pertains to housing, employment and recreation.  LEO believes that all citizens, including those with disabilities, should be an important part of a community’s vision.

A Fred Meyer sponsored gravity car will be unveiled at 1 p.m. at the event.

For more than 25 years, the Rotary Club of Issaquah has been active in Issaquah. As a local service club, its members are business and professional leaders who believe in the motto “Service Above Self.”

Rotary embraces some 1.2 million men and women in more than 27,000 Rotary clubs in 150 countries.

Learn about the event or how to become a sponsor by calling LEO at 392-5682 or Darrin Helfrecht with the Rotary Club of Issaquah at 206-799-8772.

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