Gravity — and team spirit — power Rotary racers’ soapbox derby cars

July 17, 2012

Cian O’Farrell, 11, and driver John Morse, 10, ride the gravity car by sponsor Fred Meyer to a checkered flag waved by the Rotary Club of Issaquah’s Fred Nystrom. By Greg Farrar

A day filled with happiness for children was the goal of the 15th annual Issaquah Rotary Challenge Day Race on July 14.

Viewers lined Second Avenue Southeast to watch — standing or sitting on the bleachers halfway down the block.

The event pairs up children with disabilities and volunteer children drivers to race soapbox derby cars. Gravity pulls the cars down the hill. The vehicles reach speeds of 17 mph.

About 50 children with disabilities got to race three times with rotating drivers and cars. Liberty High School cheerleaders greeted the racers at the finish line before cars were towed back to the starting line.

“It’s a great event for kids to experience a fast, free ride down Second Avenue,” Rotary Club member Russell Joe said. “For some of the riders, it’s the first time they’ve been in a car that’s running on its own without mom or dad.”

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Skyline High School cheer coach dies

March 29, 2011

Tamara “Tammy” Fox, the assistant cheer coach at Skyline High School, died March 20, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Fox, a 31-year-old Issaquah resident, was found dead in her home. Authorities are still working on a toxicology report to determine the cause of death, according to the medical examiner’s office.

A 1998 graduate of Liberty High School, Fox danced on the drill team her freshman year and cheered for three years as a member of Liberty’s cheerleading squad. Her classmates awarded her the honor of having the most school spirit in her senior year and she was a member of Signet, Liberty’s senior service club.

Tammy Fox

Liberty principal’s secretary Kathy Schroeder knew Fox from the cheer squad and from her work as an office teacher’s assistant.

“She was a great gal,” Schroeder said. “I’m just heartbroken.”

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Gold Star

February 15, 2011

When the Liberty High School cheerleaders adopted a family with four children for Christmas, it was a mission they took seriously.

Liberty High School cheerleaders

The girls donated clothing, shoes and coats and showered the family with gifts, including games, movie passes, stocking stuffers and DVDs for the entire family, Liberty Varsity Cheer Coach Tara Wood said.

The cheerleaders include Capt. Miranda Jones, Lt. Cassie Smith, Rachel Atwood, Hanna Bayne, Maddie Call, Cloie Chapman, Megan Fiedler, Devon Isner, Corey Jensen, May Oh, Ash-Lee Phillpotts, Samantha Shoemaker, Tessa Smith and Shayna Waldbaum.

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Cheerleader camp at Liberty

September 7, 2010

The Liberty High School cheerleaders hold a cheerleading camp from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sept. 18 at Liberty High School.

The camp is open to boys and girls, kindergarten through fifth grade. Liberty coaches and cheerleaders will do the teaching.

Learn more by e-mailing

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Help Liberty High School cheerleaders and Seattle Children’s at Saturday fundraiser

July 22, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. July 22, 2010

Liberty High School cheerleaders aren’t taking a summer break from making their community a better place.

Help the squad raise money for Seattle Children’s at a car wash fundraiser and toy drive from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday at Chevron, 3029 N.E. Fourth St., Renton, near Renton Technical College.

Half of the monetary proceeds — and any new toys — will go to fill Jarrett’s Joy Cart at the hospital. Volunteers take the cart to patients so they can pick a toy to brighten their day.

The squad will use the rest of the proceeds to help pay for competition entries and to purchase equipment.

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