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Croton Auto Park Hosts Scout's 1st Annual Pinewood Derby

January 25, 2006

Croton Auto Park Hosts Scout's 1st Annual Pinewood DerbyFor the first time ever, on Friday evening January 20th, 2006, the Derby was held at a brand new venue - Croton Auto Park. Croton's largest auto dealer agreed to clear out their showroom, decorate, provide extra seating and underwrite the cost of car kits and awards.

Hosting the Pinewood Derby (view photo gallery) was a natural extension of the community support that Croton Auto Park provides to many local organizations. It also didn't hurt that they had a captive audience of over 40 families, many of which are already Croton Auto Park customers, or others who may be in the market for new vehicles in the coming years.

Before the races began, participants enjoyed pizza & soda and got a chance to have a photo of themselves taken inside a brand new Chevrolet Corvette or Dodge Charger.

The Pinewood Derby (view photo gallery) is one of the signature events of Cub Scouting, where boys (with a little help from parents) design, build, paint and race gravity powered model cars made from a single block of wood. The purpose of this activity is for boys to build a team relationship with their parent or helper, experience a sense of accomplishment, learn about good sportsmanship and most importantly, to have fun.

Every year, more than one million boys and parents participate in a Pinewood Derby, and here in Croton, 41 boys entered cars this year. There were many awards given out - based on the fastest racing times as well as other special categories. The overall winners were:

1st place - Nicholas Derbabian
2nd place - Ben Steiger
3rd place - Christopher Sheldon
4th place - Tommy Kaplan
5th place - Bart Considine
6th place - Sam Goldsmith
7th place - David Luntz

The following Scouts won awards in Special Categories:

Best Cub Scout Theme - Christopher Caterino
Best Paint Job - Michael Matalavage
Best Wood Crafting - Brian Smith
Funniest Car - Billy Livingston
Most Futuristic Car - Elijah Parker
Most Imaginative - William Sheng
Most Patriotic Car - Daniel Vlad
Most Realistic Car - Noah Campbell
Scariest Car - Bradley D'Auria

There were also ribbons awarded for the top finishers in each Den or age group:

Tiger Den 5:
1st - Ben Steiger
2nd - Bart Considine
3rd - Daniel Bring

Wolf Den 3:
1st - David Luntz
2nd - Thomas Minett
3rd - Benton Baltich-Schecter

Bear Den 4:
1st - Christopher Sheldon
2nd - Tommy Kaplan
3rd - David Gutierrez

Bear Den 7:
1st - Nicholas Derbabian
2nd - Noah Campbell
3rd - Bradley D'Auria

Weblos Den 1:
1st - Sam Goldsmith
2nd - Charles Ellison
3rd - Jacob Andrews

Weblos Den 2:
1st - Aaron Baltich-Schecter
2nd - Carlton Sargeant
3rd - Chris Caterino

This year, the Cub Pack also held an "Open" division derby race, for parents and siblings to build and race Pinewood Derby cars. The first three finishers based on time were awarded trophies: Madeline Sheldon (1st place), Noah & Don Campbell (2nd place) & Croton Auto Park's entry (3rd place).

The event was a great success (view photo gallery), with many of the families declaring that this years Derby was the best ever, and others hoping that the partnership between Croton Auto Park and Pack 28 can continue in the future. The Pinewood Derby was staged with help of several of the men from Croton Auto Park, including owner Lou Giordano, General Manager Frank Endress, Mike Glynn, Charles Wenderoth and George Palladino. Many volunteer parents and leaders were also involved in planning and set-up. The Pinewood Derby Chairman was Bill Goldsmith. The Pack's Cubmaster is Steve Schecter and the Pack Committee Chairman is Rob Kaplan.

Pack 28 provides programs for boys from first through fifth grades. Recent events have included a Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser to benefit Scout groups in Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana, toured Sony Wonder, NBC Studios and Grand Central Terminal in New York City and enjoyed outdoor skills and activities with hundreds of other Scouts from the Westchester and Putnam area at the annual Thunderbird Games in nearby Croton Point Park.

Upcoming events include a winter cabin camping trip, the annual Blue & Gold awards dinner and a Bowl-O-Ree fundraiser in the spring. For more information on Pack 28, visit their web site at


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