One of the great things about living in Akron is the All American Soap Box Derby that has been held at Derby Downs in Akron every year since 1934. This year is the 74th Annual race where local champions from each of the Stock, Super Stock and Masters division Soap Box Derby races throughout the world will come here to Akron, Ohio to compete for college scholarships and merchandise prizes in the All-American Soap Box Derby on July 23, 2011. The goals of the Soap Box Derby program have not changed since it began in 1934. They are to teach youngsters some of the basic skills of workmanship, the spirit of competition and the perseverance to continue a project once it has begun.
I really want to support the All American Soap Box Derby here in Akron since it does such a wonderful job of promoting responsibility to children ages 8-17 and bringing such a positive light to our city. Have you taken a family trip down to Derby Downs for a race? If you haven’t but would like too check out the All American Soap Box Derby website to learn more about the history of racing and information on attending this year.
There is a movie that was filmed here in Akron last summer about the All American Soap Box Derby which is 25 Hill. It would be a great movie to share with your family! T-boy who is almost 9 is very excited to see the movie and I am glad that I can help support the AASBD.
How the story of 25 Hill came to be
After reading a September story in USA Today about the financial difficulties of the Akron-based All American Soap Box Derby, actor, director and producer Corbin Bernsen decided he could do something to save the nearly 75-year-old youth racing league – and keep it in Akron. Despite a record number of racers (ages 8-17), the Derby has lost money three out of the past five years. It even risks foreclosure if it does not pay its lender the $623,000 it now owes.
The USA Today story inspired Bernsen to write a screenplay about an 12-year-old boy whose Derby dreams are threatened first when his father is killed fighting in Afghanistan and then when the Derby is shut down because of money troubles. The Derby is ultimately saved, but that heroic role has been left open –purposely — to be filled by the real-life rescuers – the new title sponsor – who comes to the Derby’s aid.
25 Hill Storyline
12 year-old Trey Caldwell receives a gift from his father for Christmas – a Soap Box Derby car kit. Never having mentioned any interest in the Derby, Trey finds it an “interesting” choice given what he really wanted was a new laptop computer to compliment the other technology in his bedroom. Nonetheless, being a good kid and the son every father would want, Trey gushes with enthusiasm, “thanks pop.” He later finds that the Derby was an unfilled dream of his dad.
The two start building the car but the work is cut short when Trey’s dad, an Army Reservist is called to duty in Afghanistan. Two weeks in he’s killed. Trey is left with his mom, the unfinished car and a dream that has died with his father.
Trey’s teacher puts him together with a man from her church, a local Fire Chief named Roy Gibbs who himself has suffered a great tragedy that has all but killed his dream of a better America and sent him into a 10 year downward spiral. Roy’s son, a firefighter himself, was killed on 9/11.
The teacher’s apparent purpose is to create a surrogate son and surrogate father relationship so the two might begin to heal together. The guys meet and it’s an uphill battle for Trey from the start. Roy Gibbs is extremely bitter, he’s sees no future for America and has given up hope. Not satisfied to let the relationship go, or let the dream of his father go, Trey Google’s Roy’s name suspecting there is something more to the man. Pages of links and photos suddenly appear and Trey quickly discovers his teacher’s true intention in putting them together; 35 years ago Roy Gibbs was a local kid who won the Soap Box Derby in Akron –and the national title! The local place he used to race with other kids back in the day was a slight incline slicing through the old oil fields surrounding town. The track is known as 25 Hill.
Trey confronts Roy and slowly the old Derby hero relents and together they begin finishing Trey’s car and more importantly working through their differences – Trey believes in the dream of America – proud and loud. Roy doesn’t. Period! Over the course of time however Trey and his infectious pride and enthusiasm begin to bring Roy back from the abyss. They not only finish building the car and practice racing up on 25 Hill – recalling better days – but they actually win a few local races and earn a shot at traveling to Akron and racing for the national title!
All set to great music that makes us proud and images of the country we love… 25 Hill is a celebration of “faith and courage” – the name Trey has painted on the side of his car and the hope it brings to one young man’s life.
Check out the 25 Hill Video Trailer here.
To purchase tickets to the Family Premiere
25 Hill is being premiered here in Akron at the Akron Civic Theatre on Sunday, July 10 for a 2:00 matinee show. You can get a family package of 2 tickets to the family premiere and a Derby Edition DVD for just $30.00. To purchase your tickets for this great movie please click here or go to the 25 Hill website for more information.
Giveaway Time! (Closed)
Updated: 7-8-11 Winner Announced: Angela Kelley
Enter to Win a Family Premiere movie pack of 2 Tickets to screening of 25 Hill and a Derby Edition DVD ($30) for the premiere on Sunday, July 10, 2011 at 2:00pm.
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Contest ends at 11:59pm EST on July 5, 2011 when a winner will be drawn at random. I will notify the winners and they will have 36 hours to respond!
This was not a paid post. My own opinions were used based on my perceptions and experience. Thank you to 25 Hill who provided the tickets for review and giveaway.