From racing to trading pins, custom pins keep your goals on track.
In this fast-paced, high tech insulated world, it’s nice to know that sports like the All American Soap Box Derby (AASBD) still promotes family values. According to the national web site, it encourages young boys and girls aged 8 to 17 to work hands-on with a parent or grandparent to build soapbox racecars. It helps to instill workmanship skills; the spirit of competition and the perseverance to complete a project from start to finish. Then the racers get together in regional races and race downhill at 25 m.p.h.—just like they did when it all started in 1933. One such winner is Wolfgang “Wolfie” Ruddell, now aged 14, from Valley Village, California. He’s been participating in Soap Box Derby races for five years, and managed to collect more than 100 trophies, said his grandmother Shirley Ruddell. “We’re so proud of him. He’s done very well,” she said. It all began when “Poppa” Gary Ruddell and Wolfie were watching a NASCAR race on TV, and started talking about other types of races. Gary had recently heard about the All American Soap Box Derby race, and thought it was a good project they could work on together. Wolfie took to the idea right away. “It’s a good sport for a young boy,” added Shirley Ruddell. “Wolfie didn’t play sports, his parents were divorced and he lives in L.A. It was something that he and his “Poppa” could do together.” According to the AASBD web site, local champions each from the Stock (aged 8-13), Super Stock (aged 10-17) and Masters (aged 10 to 17) division’s races throughout the world come to Akron, Ohio, in July each year to compete for scholarships and merchandise prizes in the All-American Soap Box Derby. “When you go to Akron, there’s one week of activities, and they treat you like champions,” added Shirley Ruddell. “Last year, 540 boys and girls from all over the United States, Germany and Japan came and traded buttons and pins. It was a great experience.” Each year, Wolfie creates his own soap box-trading pin—with the help of The Monterey Company. “We change the colors and design every year,” said Shirley Ruddell. Most are simple designs of Wolfie depicted as an animated wolf in a replica racecar. They are 1-inch pins with colored glitter.
“This year’s pin showed Wolfie waving goodbye, with the years 2004-2009 on it,” said Shirley Ruddell wistfully. “This will be Wolfie’s last year competing because he will become a freshman in North Hollywood High next year.” “The Monterey Company has done a fabulous job with the pins over the years,” she said. “We’ve been so pleased with their work that we ordered from them every year.”