Friday, December 18, 2009

Letter from Bill Evans

The Akron Beacon Journal recently published an article about the All-American Soap Box Derby’s current financial condition. This story was picked up by the Associated Press and appeared in several newspapers across the country. We feel it necessary to clarify a few misconceptions it may have created. The story seemed to suggest the Derby, based in Akron, Ohio, is on the verge of collapse. Although our situation is indeed serious, we want to assure our thousands of racers and their families across the country that we are confident support for the Derby is forthcoming. We intend on hosting our Championship Event in July 2010 in Akron, Ohio.

We are working closely with our bank to come to terms on our loan, and we’re aggressively seeking new forms of revenue. After USA Today published its own story this fall about our finances and future plans, we heard from companies and individuals interested in Derby sponsorship. We’re in discussions with some of them now. The actor, producer and director Corbin Bernsen also read the USA Today article. He was so inspired by our organization, he wrote a screenplay with the Derby in the central role. Bernsen plans to shoot part of the film in Akron, including scenes at our annual championship in July when winners from all over convene at Akron’s Derby Downs. Bernsen recently came to Akron to experience the “thrill of the hill” himself and discuss business matters, including a potential licensing fee for the Derby. We have had a groundswell of local support and we have meetings with the bank scheduled to resolve the current situation.

None of this is magic. We need money to keep the Derby dream alive for future generations of racers. We also need money to continue to expand our program into events involving alternative energies and other “green” resources. These sorts of deals take time, but we’re sure the event National Geographic recently called an American icon and SI Kids called the “coolest” will draw the support it needs to thrive.

Build your cars, follow your dreams, and we’ll see you in Akron when the cameras roll.


Bill Evans
Chairman, Board of Directors
All American Soap Box Derby

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