soap box derby pic

Molly Howlett crosses the finish line during the first annual Cason Westmoreland Soap Box Derby event in 2014 in downtown Marshall to take first. The fifth annual derby will take place this Oct. 12, at the intersection of Austin and Bolivar streets.

The fifth annual Cason Westmoreland Annual Memorial Soap Box Derby will kick off this Saturday at the intersection of Austin and Bolivar Streets, raising money for United Way of Harrison County and the Cason Westmoreland Scholarship Foundation.

“It’s a lot of fun; it’s a lot of camaraderie and competition,” co-chair Ricky Harmon said.

Most importantly, it’s all for two great causes — United Way, which aids about 17 local charities and organizations through financial contributions, and the Cason Westmoreland Foundation, named in memory of the 22-year-old Marshall man who died in a workshop explosion in 2014.

Since its genesis, the soap box derby has raised more than $60,000 apiece for United Way and the Cason Westmoreland Foundation. Through the funds, United Way has been able to help the missions and charities the organizations supports. The fundraiser has also allowed the Cason Westmoreland Foundation to be successful, awarding approximately 40 scholarships, valued at $1,000.

“Scott (Westmoreland) and his son (Cason) have always been big into cars. We’re doing something to remember him and keep his name going,” Harmon said.

This year’s event will begin with a practice run starting at 3 p.m. Races will commence at 4:30 p.m.

“We have 14 entries,” said Harmon, noting anyone is welcome to sign up the day of the race too.

The cost is $500 for the entry fee and a one-time $500 fee for the car kit. Admission is free to watch the races. In case of rain, the event will be rescheduled for Oct. 19.

Organizers encourage everyone to come out for a good time.

“It always draws a lot of competition out in the older people and younger people,” said Harmon, sharing how youth love to race for the older supporters, too. “It’s just a good time.”

For sign-up or raffle information, contact co-chair Brandon Smith at (903) 926-5838 or co-chair Ricky Harmon at (903) 930-6085.