Madison Avenue Soapbox Derby returns this fallPhoto: Jonathan Phillips Eric Blue (left) and his wife Erin escort their son Dylan to the starting line during the 4th annual Madison Ave. Soap Box Derby in Decatur on Saturday, September 27, 2014.
The Oakhurst derby raises money for those in need, and this year, 100 percent of the proceeds raised by the derby will benefit Hagar’s House Emergency Shelter for women and children. Decaturish profiled the Hagar’s House program last year, which is operated by Decatur Cooperative Ministry.
According to the derby website, neighbors created the Madison Ave Community Fund, a non-profit organization to raise money for children in the community. The site says, “Thanks to all the support of our awesome neighbors and neighborhood businesses, the event has grown from about 20 drivers in 2011 to 100 drivers in last year’s rain soaked derby. We are proud to announce that we have now donated over $30,000 to local children’s charities!”
There are rules for the derby. The cars have to be “home-built,” meaning no kit or pre-fabricated cars are allowed. There cannot be any engines or external energy sources – the cars have to be gravity powered. And the vehicles have to fit within certain dimensions and have steering and a brake.
Decaturish photographer Jonathan Phillips dropped by the 2014 Madison Avenue Soapbox Derby and took these fantastic photos of the event.