Cave Junction’s Soap Box Derby first run fun

Alumni Weekend is always a festive time in the Illinois Valley, but this year the addition of the Soap Box Derby sponsored by E Clampus Vitus, Trillium Bakery and the Illinois Valley News was extra exciting on Schumacher Street located in the neighborhood behind Taylor’s Sausage and Country Store.
The hill on Schumacher was perfect for the soap box cars. Even though there were only four cars entered in this year’s derby, the small crowd expressed their joy at having this new event. And with a couple of crashes, it kept the EMTs from I.V. Fire District on their toes. Luckily, the racers ended up with only a few scrapes and bruises.
The idea originated from Marjie Millard and Katie Houston from Trillium Bakery in Cave Junction, who took their idea to Dan Mancuso, Illinois Valley News publisher, who ran with it. Houston used the annual Soap Box Derby in Portland as their model. Amy Lusson, new president of Main Street Cave Junction, pitched in to save the day when last minute details were needed to get the derby up and running. Any proceeds were to go to Main Street for the Oak-to-Art project.
“I thought it was a success, we didn’t know what we were doing, so the fact that we had a low turnout gave us the opportunity to learn. It might have been a disaster if we had too many cars there,” said Mancuso. “We start planning for Soap Box Derby 2023 next week!”
Although, the turnout was smaller than expected, many of the spectators pledged to build their own car for next year’s derby.
“I didn’t have time to build a car this year, but next year I am definitely doing this,” said Keven Jones, an IVHS alumnus.
It was also fun to see our neighbors from Grants Pass at the Daily Courier come to report on the event. Reporter Shaun Hall had lots to photograph when ECV member Dave Clark crashed on his first and final race of the day. Then later in the event, derby racer Roscoe Grimes, took a spill, but landed on his feet with a cheer.
With only four cars entered, the derby racers got to do three runs and then the finale was all three finalists running together.
The winners of the Soap Box Derby were:
*Highest Recycled Content went to Justin Stewart with his “Thunder Cougar Falcon Bird” cart as well as the first-place fastest run of the day with a combined total from 3 runs of 74.48 seconds
*Second place with a total run time of 76.16 went to Steve Ohh with his parts made from scrap lumber and food carts from Taylor’s Sausage plant.
*Third place time went to Justin Jermaine, who traded racing runs with Roscoe Grimes in their recycled materials Rockstar cart with 91.63.