Vancouver, August 19 — The annual Downtown Eastside event see participants squeeze into a variety of custom-built, motorless, improvised vehicles in a fun all ages event for a great cause!
On Friday August 19th the back alley of the Ray-Cam Cooperative Community Centre will be transformed into a soapbox derby racetrack for the day. Teams from the Vancouver Police and Fire Departments, the Vancouver Giants, ICBC, and many others will take up the challenge to be the best racers on the track while raising money for NASKARZ.
NASKARZ (Never Again Steal Cars) is an innovative program that addresses youth and gang crime through mentorship and positive relationships. Developed in partnership between Ray-Cam Cooperative Centre, Vancouver Community College (VCC), and the Vancouver Police Department (VPD), this award-winning program offers young people from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside “automotive, social and educational opportunities”.
Cars are the just hook into the program. NASKARZ program is important for its participants’ futures because these kids are not hungry for crime; they’re starved for opportunity. The Insurance Corporation of BC credits NASKARZ as one of the initiatives that led to 71% multiyear reduction in car-theft in Vancouver.
This annual Soapbox Derby for local children and youth, organized and delivered in partnership with Vancouver Police Foundation and VPD, now attracts teams from supporting businesses and organizations raising money for the program. The soapbox racers are built by youth in NASKARZ program at VCC, under the guidance of volunteers from Jelly Beans Autocrafters.
In 2015 the highlight of the race was the celebrity portion of the event that saw the Vancouver Fire Chief John McKearney beat the Vancouver Police Chief Adam Palmer in a close race.
Further details are attached.
For further information, contact:
Alex Vasiljevic, Community Youth Worker, 604-257-6949
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3rd Annual Ray-Cam Soapbox Derby
Fast Facts
Teams entered:

  1. Vancouver Police
  2. Vancouver Fire
  3. The Vancouver Giants
  4. ICBC
  5. U-Haul
  6. Porsche Club of America, Canada West Region
  7. Coast Capital Savings
  8. ALIVE Society
  10. Hub International
  11. Ballistic Arts

Event Supporters:
Vancouver Community College
Vancouver Police Foundation
Jelly Beans Autocrafters
Click Foundation
Strathcona BIA
Good Soup
8:00 set up begins
10:00 racing starts
12:00 official welcome/ address / NASKARZ youth recognition
12:30 live music performance
13:00 racing resumes
15:00 award ceremony
15:30 event strike down
17:00 complete