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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

Lauren's Car

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.

Wade Charlesworth

Read More at: Pinewood Derby Times Volume 7, Issue 15

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