SALEM - Race director Janet Keene had a feeling the 8th annual Quakertown Super Kids Classic held Saturday was going to be a success.
"We had some rain early in the morning and then a rainbow came," she said. "We just knew we were going to have a wonderful day."
Competitors, volunteers, spectators and sponsors certainly did. The event, co-sponsored by the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce and the York Drexler VFW Post 5532 of Washingtonville, featured 33 competitors cheered on by a large turnout of spectators along South Broadway Avenue.
All smiles heading toward the finish line!
Eighteen-year-old Jax Johnson of Salem is all smiles as she rides in the Salem AMVETS racer Saturday during the 8th annual Quakertown Super Kids Classic held along South Broadway Avenue. Her ghost driver is Kayla Jackson of Washingtonville. Jax works at In Christ’s Hands Workshop in Salem. (Salem News photo by J.D.Creer)
Randy Keene served as race manager for the Quakertown Super Kids Classic - a soapbox derby for children with physical or mental challenges. The event is an opportunity for participants to interact and compete with other similar children. A two-division, double-elimination tournament, the event allowed each participant to drive down the track several times, as a single or a double with a "ghost" driver - who usually are All-American Soap Box Derby drivers - for those who could not steer the car. Each competitor received a trophy for participating. Winning the singles division was Sam Zitello of North Jackson. Dakota Murphy of Salem won the doubles competition. Colton Phillips of Hanoverton was the wild card winner. They advance into national competition in Akron.
The Salem police and fire departments had a friendly runoff. Mike Garber of the SPD defeated the SFD's Mike Bryan.
There was also another first. Chances were sold for adults to compete. Five names were drawn. Leanne Varner of Columbiana prevailed.
Car sponsors were the American Legion Post 131, Leetonia; AMVETS Post 45, Salem; Conservation Club of Columbiana County, Columbiana; Dynamic Autobody/Carstar, Columbiana; Hedeen Electric, Inc., New Kensington, PA., Jen's Photographic Memories, Salem; Holloway Insurance, Columbiana; Ladies Auxiliary-VFW Post 5532, Washingtonville; Mens Auxiliary-VFW Post5532, Washingtonville; Morning Journal/Salem News, Lisbon/Salem; Plummer & Jackson Attorneys, Salem; Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, Salem; Salem Firefighters Local 283, Salem; Sebring Dental, Sebring; Sonshine Tours, Salem; United Commercial Travelers (UCT) #590, Salem; VFW Post 892, Salem; Vietnam Veterans of America #40, Washingtonville; X-Treme Landscaping, Columbiana; and, Zeigler's Trophy, Salem.
Racers included rookie drivers Debbie Barnes, Christian Prenzlin and Seth Stone along with veterans Isaac Bates, Diana Clark, Jacob Clark, Ian Cole, Steven Demidovich, Sierra Edwards, Amber Felger, Tommy Hays, Zach Henderson, Jax Johnson, Brian Kisner, Tyler Kisner, Lexi Krosky, Alex Lewis, Pasty McCartney, Logan Miller, Makayla Moore, Dakota Murphy, Hunter Parks, Madison Parks, Colton Phillips, Jadyn Phillips, Noah Prenzlin, Blake Rabel, Austin Sheets, Mary Spence, Caleb Tami, Tyler Young, Michael Zimmerman and Sam Zitello. Flag man was Anthony Christani.
Ghost drivers and helpers included Elizabeth Christani, Sarah Crothers, Kayla Johnson, Allison Krohn, Brandon Krohn, Zack Krohn, Haleigh Kubler, Johanna Kubler, Brittney Lemasters, Kiersten Schell, Sabrina Schneider and Juli Spence.