Volume 12 Week 5

Sunday, Feb. 15


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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette






(Posted 5:30 a.m., June 9)
Orléans Soap Box Derby continues to gain in popularity
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Dominc Levesque front poses with his new friend Dominic Lavalée from Laval after the two youngsters came in first place in their respective classes at the Orléans Soap Box Derby on Saturday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The Orleans Soap Box Derby has been in existence for four years now and for the fourth straight year the event was blessed with near perfect weather which made for some great racing as nearly 60 participants took part in this year's event.

More than half the entries were from the east end, including a number of returnees, which bodes well for the future of the derby.

Of particular note is the fact that there were several first time entries as well, which means there is still plenty of room for growth.

The first time racers are lumped toigather in the Participation class which this year was won by 10-year-old Dominic Levesque from Orléans.

The idea to build a car and participate in the race was hatched when Levesque brought a flyer home from school about three weeks ago.

"He brought the flyer home and said Dad I really want to do this, so it went from there," says Sylvain Levesque. "I did most of the work. My wife did the letter and my father-in-law did the brakes so it was a real family affair."

Team Levesque didn't finish getting the car ready until about 8:30 p.m. the night before the race. After a tense first run, the family was finally able to relax a little bit.

When asked what his secret was, Dominic replied matter of factly, "Ducking my head."

"I want to do it again next year. It's a lot fun when you go down the hill. It's really fast," said Levesque.

Besides the excitement of racing, the Soap Box Derby also allows the kids a chance to make friends with other racers. Levesque met 10-year-old Laval resident Dominic Lavalée during the competition and the two became instant friends.

Lavalée has been doing the Soap Box Derby circuit in Quebec and Eastern Ontario for the past two years. His father Jacques says the family goes to about 10 to 15 competitions every year.

"We love it. It's a great family activity and you meet a lot of really great people. We go to a competition at least once every weekend. It's a great way to bond with your kid and it gives you something you can do together," says the elder Lavalée.

Along with the trophies for the various classes, the organizers also gave a trophy out for Best School Spirit which this year was won by Rockland Public School.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

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