By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer
The Greater Pennsylvania Super Kids soap box derby for special-needs kids is moving to Sharpsville.
An adult fundraising race has been held in the borough, but the kids’ race has rolled in Sharon since its inception in 2008. Super Kids organizer Pam Dorfi said she received a letter from Sharon City Manager Scott Andrejchak informing her the race cannot be held on East State Street in the city this year because it has delayed emergency response and a business did not want it, she said.
A voicemail message left with Andrejchak was not returned.
The adult race will be held May 17 on Seventh Street, while the kids’ race is set for June 28 on Pierce Avenue, just west of Seventh Street.
“We’re glad to have them,” Sharpsville Borough Manager Kenneth Robertson said.
Dorfi said it doesn’t hurt that Sharpsville Mayor Alex Kovach is her brother-in-law, but many others in the borough have embraced the events.
“We know we have the support of the community in Sharpsville,” she said. “They have just opened their arms to us and are so excited that the kids race is going to be in Sharpsville, too.”
Robertson said the races are held in residential neighborhoods and residents are accepting of the races.
“We notify the residents and they work with us,” he said. “It’s all about the kids.”
He noted that the borough’s police, fire and street departments and council have all fielded teams for the adult race.
Dorfi added that Sharpsville School District has supported the race by building cars for adults and kids – the district will manufacture two wide-body cars for the kids race this year – and supplied volunteer students.
Those contributions are typical of the overall community support for the event, she said. Sponsors have stayed with the race from year to year and individual donors never cease to amaze her with their generosity, she said.
“When we say it’s for special-needs kids, the money comes pouring in,” she said. “We thank the community for everything that they’ve done. It’s been phenomenal.”
New this year is the Pirate Parrot, who will spend time at the kids’ race.
“How nice that somebody came and paid for that for us,” Dorfi said.
The kids’ race is open to ages 7 to 17, any child with a physical or mental special need. The kids ride while non-special-needs teenagers drive the cars, and the two fastest teams get to go to Akron for the All-American Rally Championship.
Typically, the race attracts 25 to 35 kids.
“We just want to give them a day full of nothing but fun,” Dorfi said.
Super Kids derby details
The Greater Pennsylvania Super Kids soap box derby adult fundraising race will be held May 17 on Seventh Street in Sharpsville. Registration begins at 10 a.m. with the first race at 11 a.m. Up to 16 teams of four will be accepted for entrance.
The Super Kids race for special-needs children will be held June 28 on Pierce Avenue in Sharpsville. Registration begins at 9 a.m., a parade starts at 10:30 a.m. and the racers hit the hill starting at 11 a.m.
Race organizer Pam Dorfi is preregistering teams for the adult race and children for the kids race, accepting donations and coordinating volunteers. Anyone interested can call her at 724-347-6009 or 724-301-0690. Information: www.greaterpasuperkids.com