Soap Box Derby's financial wheels wobbly but still rolling

soap box derby
soap box derby

The All-American Soap Box Derby organization is scrambling to reverse a downhill slide in its finances. The Akron Beacon Journal reports that Summit County, Ohio, home of the derby, is going to audit the books of the not -for -profit -- at AASBD's request. Bill Evans, the chairman of the AASBD's board, told me this is a good thing.

The AASBD has been traveling a rough road. In 2008, expenses outstripped revenue by over $400,000 after it lost its most recent title sponsor, Levi Strauss Co. The city of Akron recently stepped in to guarantee $623,000 of debt, which convinced FirstMerit Bank to drop a lawsuit it had filed to recover $580,000 owed by the Derby. The Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce is also pitching in with fund raising and business planning. The organization has not to date been successful in signing a title sponsor. In the past, Chevrolet, Levi's, Home Depot, Goodyear and other companies have sponsored the race.

Now, however, Evans sees several things coming together to improve the AASBD's prospects. One of them is a movie star.