Soap Box Derby brings families together in Pottstown

- Fox 29 photojournalist George Roach is in the 111th Attack Wing out of Horsham, and for the past few months, he's been activated as a public affairs officer.

To celebrate Father's Day, he paid a visit to Pottstown's 23rd Annual Soap Box Derby and highlighted the rewarding aspects of volunteer work.

Command Chief Master Sergeant Paul Frisco started participating in the event in the 1990s with his kids and loves it.

“I love the gravity sport,” Frisco told Fox 29. “I love getting kids involved with it. It’s kind of a ministry of mine, getting kids out, doing something different, making memories you know?"

Hannah Kocur, a derby participant, put the meaning of the race this way:

"It teaches me that losing is learning,” she said. “And that it's important not to get down on yourself. It's important to cheer each other on and not let yourself down just because you lost."

“For the last 23 years, we sent kid, from ages seven all the way to 21 down the hill in three different divisions,” Courtney McKain explained. “And at the end of the day, we'll send three kids to Akron, Ohio to represent Pottstown."

Travis Savidge described what makes the derby the perfect family sport.

“Usually you’re following… one sibling playing a sport and you support them, but with this one you can have multiple kids all racing at the same time—brothers, sisters racing each other, and the mothers and the fathers help with the cars getting them set up and placed.”

"You get so much quality time,” Courtney added. “I mean, I spent hours and hours in the garage with my dad, and we spent all week before the race in the garage. And then I would spend all day with him racing, like he would put me in the ramps, and it was just so much time spent together that I'm so thankful for soap box derby.”

When Ginny McKain’s husband, the former derby director, got ill, Command Chief MSgt Frisco didn’t hesitate to take over the reins.

“Paul was always involved in soap box derby,” Ginny explained. “But he has stepped up tremendously in the helping of the running of the race, the actual planning of the race and the actual execution of the race."

A leader at the track or a leader at the 111th Attack Wing, Command Chief MSgt Paul Frisco leads by example.

"Paul is fully committed,” Savidge told Fox 29. “From my experience with him in the Air Force, if he's doing something there he is 110 percent. And the same thing here. We're always cracking jokes that if we're meeting at 6:30, he's here at 6:20 waiting for everyone. You know he's already thinking of seven or eight steps ahead. His commitment to this and volunteerism is unquestionable."

"A lot of kids don't have the opportunity to do this,” Command Chief MSgt Frisco told Fox 29. “And I think it’s neat when they get to because they always remember it. It’s not like riding your bike every day. I try to give these kids the best cars I can, teach them to run and let them go."

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