13th Annual Soapbox Races Halted Due to Weather » 2016-Jun-10

We would like to extend our appreciation to our sponsors, volunteers and most importantly the racers and their families for their understanding and patience at the 13th Annual George Jeffrey Soapbox Races.

Cancelling the races on Saturday was an extremely tough call to make after the road closure was in place, everything was set-up and the event was ready to roll. The children were so excited and worked so hard, but our number one priority is always the safety of each participant. It was not a choice that was made lightly, but it was the right call to not put any child in harm’s way. We are truly grateful to our sponsors, participants, and volunteers who made this event possible. We can assure you that we are as disappointed as the children that Mother Nature did not cooperate and that we were unable to safely run the races.  Through the generosity of our sponsors and the drivers that raised pledges, $33,300 was raised. One hundred percent of their efforts will be directed to support children and youth in our community with special needs that receive service at George Jeffrey Children’s Centre. The participants were rewarded for their efforts raising pledges for George Jeffrey Children’s Centre at a ceremony on Saturday.

Organization and preparation of this event takes several months, requiring a partnership with the City of Thunder Bay and its services, including fire and police, our insurance providers, Waverley St residents, churches and businesses, vendors, the Health Unit and a significant number of volunteers.  It is unrealistic to plan a rain date on an alternate weekend; however we are exploring the possibility of extending the event to include Sunday as a rain date.     

We look forward to start planning for next year’s event.  Our lead sponsor, BEST WESTERN PLUS Dryden Hotel & Conference Centre, has committed to continue their partnership for the 14th Annual Races.  Norm Bevilacqua says, “I am disappointed the weather did not cooperate, but organizers made the right call. I am honoured to be involved with these races and will continue to support the vital work of this organization.” 

Enjoy a short clip from test runs on Friday evening. For pictures from the event visit the photo gallery on the media page


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