The sun refused to show but at least the rain held off for the first of what we hope is many Kiwanis-sponsored All American Soapbox Derbies. Twenty-five Forest Park children and 20 kids from surrounding suburbs and states came out to see Circle Bridge transformed into an official Soapbox race track. Excitement was in air as the races began at 9 a.m. sharp and continued all day on what Soapbox officials called one of the fastest tracks they’ve seen.

An event like this takes an enormous amount of effort and cooperation. A big thank-you to Mayor Calderone, Tim Gillian and the entire village hall staff as well as Larry Piekarz and the park district for their assistance in getting this off the ground. The cooperation from public works, police, fire and the park district had everything running like clockwork to get us up and ready to go, bright and early.

Area businesses helped support the event in various ways. The food court featured tents from Chalk, SKL, Brian Boru and Brown Cow, offering food and beverages. Forest Park Youth Soccer and Little League, as well as Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, sponsored cars and Soccer also added assistance by selling pop and water and the Scouts sold popcorn. Important financial and promotional support came from businesses and intuitions as well, including Hawk Jeep/Chrysler/Dodge, Amelia’s, Healy’s, the Chamber of Commerce, McAdam, Forest Park Rotary, Oak Park-River Forest Kiwanis, Wednesday Journal/Forest Park Review and Energy Tees.

An event like this requires lots of manpower and on top of every Kiwanian who worked hard to make this happen, we had two standouts: Nob’s Towing went above and beyond, providing towing service for the cars all day — nonstop! And a big thank-you to the Proviso Math & Science Academy Key Club, who were instrumental in getting things set up, and to Key Club member Alex Tam, who stayed all day doing grunt work that needed to be done with a smile on his face!

We hope to make this an annual event for Forest Park families to enjoy for years to come. Thank you again to everyone who made it happen.

Chris Harris, Bill Gerst & Jerry Lordan 

Kiwanis Club of Forest Park Soapbox Committee