Pinewood Derby Stories and Photos from Maximum Velocity
PINEWOOD DERBY MEMORY Mouse Car
We bus a lot of kids in from the surrounding neighborhoods to our church, so I help many of them cut our their cars. A couple of years ago I must have cut out 125 cars or so and was getting a little exhausted. It seemed like I was falling behind my deadline to get them done. The theme for that year was anything to do with food. Some kids hadn't even turned in their plans yet, and other kids were only able to come every other week due to mom and dad being divorced. I decided to make a few extra cars for any of the participants that wanted a basic car. I proceeded to cut out a half dozen wedge cars with large and small drill dimples to simulate Swiss cheese. The kids loved them.
We have about eight different classes at our event so that kids race against their own age groups. We also have a leader class, an adult class, and a senior class (over 55). One of our adults, Lauren (18), has Downs Syndrome, and since her little sister and mom were making cars she decided that she wanted to participate also. She picked up one of the Swiss cheese cars and took it home to work on it.
Well, when race day came, in came Lauren with her cheese car all painted in a nice yellow; but she had added something to it. She had taken a furry toy mouse and cut it in half. She stuck the upper body on top as if it was coming out of the cheese, and stuck the lower half out the back. It was quite a sight, and everyone thought it was very humorous.
During the race event, every time the mouse car was put on the track the kids would chant, "mouse, mouse, mouse." I would look at Lauren when the kids were shouting, and she would have her head down since she was very shy. As the race proceeded, it was obvious that the little mouse was doing really well against the other cars in its class.
During the race there was an intermission, and the cars that won a trophy for first, second and third in show were announced for all the age groups. I heard, "For the adult class, first place goes to Lauren for the Mouse car." Wow, that really touched my heart that she got first place out of the adult class in show.
The race continued and the heats were tallied. As they announced the winners for the categories I eagerly listened for my name, (as we all do). Third place and second place were read. When they got to first place for the adult class, the room erupted as Lauren’s name was read. She shyly went over and received her trophy. After we cleaned up we realized that Lauren had forgotten her trophy.
The next morning when I saw her at church, I handed her the trophy. Later that morning I glanced at her sitting in the pew and saw her polishing her first place trophy -- just gently rubbing the fingerprints off I suppose. To me it made the whole season worth it.