AFTER MONTHS of preparations and planning, the 22nd Annual Martins Ferry Soap Box Derby unfolds today.
It is tagged as "The Great Race" -- and for good reason.
The event embodies the spirit of the community. It is a reflection of what can be accomplished when businesses step up and offer their backing in return for the years of patronage they have received.
Moreover, the annual derby could not flourish as it has without the work, patience and support of all the parents and guardians involved. We believe they will be rewarded for the extra effort they spent on behalf of their children, as well as the extra time they spent with them.
They were not just participating in a race; they were creating memories for a lifetime.
While this year's running doesn't not have the quantity of year's past, the quality never wanes. Be it the competitors, the volunteers or everyone else involved, the Martins Ferry Soap Box Derby is steeped in selfless camaraderie and good-natured competition.
An added feature of the Great Race is that it is made available to physically challenged youths in its Super Kids Classic.
The champion no longer advances to Akron for the national event. Rather, the winner is treated to a very nice gift package.
We commend the Martins Ferry Chamber of Commerce for its spirited and passionate efforts to keep The Great Race rolling. We also salute the sponsors that assist the chamber.
The Martins Ferry Soap Box Derby has become a rite of June in the Ohio Valley. We encourage more local youths to become involved in such a worthwhile activity.