Veterans Home residents compete in third annual pinewood derby; participation open to all veterans

Image of pinewood derby cars getting ready to race. Location and date not specified | Image courtesy of Roy Niswanger @flickr.com, St. George News

IVINS — The Southern Utah Veterans Home, located in Ivins, is hosting its third annual pinewood derby race Saturday at 2 p.m. Racers in the past have been limited to residents and staff of the home, but this year, any veteran in the community who wants to participate can enter a car.

Residents at the home have been working hard to paint and decorate their cars, which were donated by Kent Cook of carsbykent.com, a 30-year pinewood derby car expert. For the past three years, Cook has donated his precut, preweighted derby cars to the Southern Utah Veterans Home residents.

Residents, staff and visitors of the Southern Utah Veterans Home enjoy a pinewood derby race, Ivins, Utah, April 18, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Vie Van Noy, St. George News
Residents, staff and visitors of the Southern Utah Veterans Home enjoy a pinewood derby race, Ivins, Utah, April 18, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Vie Van Noy, St. George News

“This has really made participating possible for the residents because they just have to finish them up,” Sandi VanGilder, the home’s recreation assistant, said.

The cars will be raced on a custom-built track with a digital finish line to ensure accurate results.

The Southern Utah Veterans Home’s first derby was designed to bring back fond childhood memories for many of the residents.

“I’m excited,” resident council president, Gill Mullens, said. “I’m a competitive guy. I used to play competitive basketball, and this will give me an opportunity to feel that sense of competition again.”

Resident Joanne Carriere, who has participated in the derby the last two years, reflected on how fun it is to “get together with so many people to see if your car will win.”

The event is open to members of the public who wish to come watch the races and show their support to the veterans.

Check-in time for cars of veterans in the community is 10 a.m. Saturday. Cars may be brought to the home any time prior to that deadline.

The Southern Utah Veterans Home is located at 160 N. 200 East in Ivins. For more information, call the Southern Utah Veterans Home at 435-634-5220.

Event details

  • What: Third annual Southern Utah Veterans Home Pinewood Derby
  • When: Saturday, April 30, 2 p.m.
  • Where: Southern Utah Veterans Home, 160 N. 200 East, Ivins
  • Additional information: The event is open to the public to attend and support. Any veteran in the community is invited to participate.
  • Contact: Southern Utah Veterans Home | Telephone: 435-634-5220

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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