My favorite thing as a racer on race day was waking up at dawn. Soon after arriving at the race site, my siblings and I fell asleep on the bleachers while my father and his fellow Kiwanians got everything ready.

Now being older and a race director, I can see what excited my father. It was the same feeling, if not better. When I “grew out” of racing, it was sad. I felt I lost part of my life that was such a big part of me for so many years.

That excitement, anxiousness and nervousness have been restored. The excitement on this side is different. It’s not the friendly competition, meeting friends, winning a race or two and, if you're lucky like I was, winning it all and advancing to Akron. No, this excitement comes from others' enjoyment. The smiles on the kids' and parents' faces keep the magic of the soap box derby alive! I urge you to visit the Kiwanis Club of Bowling Green. We would love to show you how you can help bring joy to many lives.

My father was director of this race in 2000, when it was our third annual race. Although many things have changed since that year, one thing still stands true today. Dad said: “I could never adequately articulate the kindness extended to this community by these caring, unselfish individuals and their organizations. To mention even one by name would be a disservice to the rest. So let me just urge you to 'look around' ... it’s not difficult to tell who cares about the well-being of the children and families in this community.

"... And when you discover their identities, let them know you’re proud and honored to know them ... because I am.”

Thanks for 23 unforgettable years.

Anthony J. LaPointe

BB&T All-American Soap Box Derby director

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