Faculty/staff flex skills in derby race

Richard Kelly

The Washburn Endowment Association held its final fundraiser this past Wednesday and Thursday to help raise money for the university.

The Pinewood Derby Race saw entries from different personnel and departments and with all shapes and colors. There were a few requirements that each car had to meet, though, in order to be eligible. Cars were limited to specific dimensions, and could weigh no more than five ounces. There was to be no starting device on the car and only a dry lubricant was permitted. If all these requirements were met, the cars were allowed to race.

The fundraiser itself, “The Faculty-Staff Giving Campaign,” is an annual event, according to Julie Olson, Director of Campus Relations for the WEA. The event lasts for a total of four weeks, beginning on convocation, and ending on Sept. 19 this year. All the money from the event will go back to the university, but the areas of the Washburn that it will benefit are yet to be determined. The money goes to providing resources for items not normally anticipated to be in the budget made out by the university, according to the Washburn Faculty/Staff Web site. The type of event changes from year to year, so the Pinewood Derby Race and the silent auction of the cars were unique events.

“I think this event is very cool, very competitive. I hope and think it will bring a good contribution to the university,” said Maria Arce, an intern at counseling services who was one of three who helped put together her group’s car during the race.

A total of 29 cars were entered in the race this year, but only 21 competed. All but six of those cars ended up crossing the finish line at the end of racetrack. The top performer was Curt Hajek, with a time of 2.3525 seconds. Coming in second place was Dave Schwartz, and third place went to Celeste Ehrenberg. While the top three in speed were congratulated this past Wednesday, the winners of the most cash for their cars in the silent auction will not be announced until Tuesday.

Other WEA events this year include “Ice Cream with Mr. Freeze” and “The Bodman Buddy Trials: A Batty Triathlon.”