Join Boy Scouts, veterans for Pinewood Derby Extravaganza

Pinewood Derby Car, Southern Utah Veterans Home Pinewood Derby, Ivins, Utah, circa April 2014 | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah Veterans Home, St. George News
Pinewood Derby Car, Southern Utah Veterans Home Pinewood Derby, Ivins, Utah, circa April 2014 | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah Veterans Home, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Pinewood Derby is bringing fond memories, friends, family and fun together at the Southern Utah Veterans Home, 160 No. 200 East in Ivins, Saturday at 2 p.m.

The veterans home is partnering with Cars By Kent sponsor Kent Cook and Boy Scouts of America Troop 509 for this free community event that engages Veterans Home residents and staff with other participants.

“We are fortunate to have such an exceptional group of veterans here,” Veterans Home administrator Jerry Olson said. “The Derby is a great chance for everyone to spend an afternoon enjoying the beautiful weather, working on their cars with the local Boy Scouts, and then racing them. We feature a race for the residents and a race for the staff. Everyone has a great time.”

Al Giles awarded as winner of the Southern Utah Veterans Home Pinewood Derby, Ivins, Utah, circa April 2014 | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah Veterans Home, St. George News
Al Giles awarded as winner of the Southern Utah Veterans Home Pinewood Derby, Ivins, Utah, circa April 2014 | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah Veterans Home, St. George News

Last year the derby event was a great success as Kent Cook took interest right away and was able to procure the derby cars for sanding, painting, decorating and assembling the axles and wheels. The event took on a life of its own as Boy Scout Troop 509 volunteered to assist residents with their cars. As race day approached, several organizations and community members of all ages were signed on to help and cheer along their favorite cars. In total, 64 cars were made that day; 40 by residents and 24 by staff.

But that was just the beginning. Once designed and assembled, the Scout pit crew helped bring the races to life. Though each participant receives awards recognizing their work, the true reward was the warm reception from the community as they interacted with the home’s residents and staff.

Recreation Director Vie Van Noy said:

What’s different about our facility is the team atmosphere. We all genuinely love what we do, and the patients we serve. Everyone onsite is looking forward to this year’s event. A community based event, focusing on our dynamic resident heroes is a wonderful opportunity for our team to highlight the dedication and sacrifices of our veterans. And, it’s just a lot of fun as well!

Speed is the name of the game in derby races, Cook,  a 30 year derby car expert, said.

“Those cars can really go,” he said. “A championship caliber pinewood derby car is capable of speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour.”

Though we may not see cars at the event going 200 mph, Cook will be on hand to offer tips as the teams prepare for the big race.

Awards and prizes are given to both residents and staff for first place, second place and third place race finishers. Additional recognition will include the residents’ choice award, people’s choice award and mayor’s choice award.

Spectators and volunteers are encouraged. Currently there is no registration for additional derby cars. Light refreshments will be served.

Event details

  • What: Southern Utah Veterans Home Pinewood Derby
  • When: Saturday, April 18, 2 p.m.
  • Where: Southern Utah Veterans Home, 160 N. 200 East, Ivins
  • Tickets: Free, public welcome
  • For questions or to learn how your organization can volunteer contact Vie Van Noy | Telephone 435-634-5220

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