My family has been involved in soapbox derby racing for the past 40 years. Just about all of my cousins, my brothers, and myself have raced in our local home town race in the 70’s. My Uncle is very involved in the organization and has been our local derby director for years.

imgSuperkidLKAfter having twins my Uncle told me he would have car kits waiting for us when they were 8 years old, the age you need to be to race. As the years went by my son Michael, Lauren’s twin brother started racing.

Lauren would go along to the races to watch her brother and would always ask me if she could race. I knew that Lauren would not be able to race by herself. It would not be a safe situation! I later found out about a race that they have for children with special needs. It is called the National Super Kids Classic (www.nationalsuperkids.org). They use specially designed cars that can accommodate two drivers. The child with special needs is paired with a co-driver (an experienced soap box derby racer). Inside the car are 2 steering wheels and a brake. The co-driver does all the driving. The steering wheel for the special needs driver is not hooked up to any cables, so they think they are doing the driving!

Last October Lauren raced in a town about an hour from us that had this special race. There were 17 cars and she came in 6th place. She had a great time. I ended up getting on a committee in our local county to get a race started in our home town. We tried to get it going last June, but ran into some road blocks. Our first race is going to be on September 22, 2007 in our home town.

Since our local derby already paid to send a child to the National Super Kids Classic, they approached me to see if Lauren would represent Bucks County in the National Super Kids Classic in Akron, Ohio. At this event local champions compete against other local champions from all over the United States. This was such an honor, so of course I said yes. It’s every derby racers dream to win a local race and make it to Akron to race in the All American Soap Box Derby.

Lauren had such a good time and was so proud of her self. She finished 7th out of 56 racers. She went down the hill in Akron more than I did when I was a child! The racers attended an awards banquet and everyone got a trophy. Lauren is so proud of her trophy and has it displayed in our house right next to her brother’s. Our local newspaper came out and interviewed Lauren… she felt like a celebrity. It was a great experience and we hope we will be returning next July!

Beth
SuperKid Lauren Kurtz!

(excerpted from Spectrum, Vol 11, Issue 4, Fall 2007)