The 'super kids' look forward to the annual race and cheer one another on.
COLUMBIANA -- Volunteers and participants are gearing up for the ninth annual Super Kids Classic, at noon June 15.
Leslie Seibert, a race volunteer with the Vietnam Veterans of America's Columbiana County Chapter 40, said 32 racers have registered for the Soap Box Derby for mentally and physically challenged children ages 9-16.
"The kids are very excited, and we have so many this year, we have to double up in the cars," Seibert said.
Various businesses and organizations sponsor the soap-box cars, many of which are equipped to meet the drivers' special needs.
Seibert said if some children are not physically able to control the soap-box car, a ghost driver controls the steering and brakes.
"The kids seem thrilled to be here, and many of them come back year after year," said Seibert. "It's tough for us to see them go once they are too old to participate."
Seibert said the participants write short descriptions of themselves and their feelings about the race.
"They say they can't wait to do it," she said. "One last year wrote that it's too long between races."
Seibert said the best part of serving as a volunteer is watching the participants support each other.
"They are competitive, they want to win, but they cheer each other on," she said.
The race will be on Park Avenue near Firestone Park. The rain date is June 16.
The Super Kids Classic is in its 21st year. Originally it was held in conjunction with the All American Soap Box Derby, but it was changed so the "super kids" could have their own day, Seibert said.