Each year, the Ray-Cam Soapbox Derby gives young people in our community a chance to escape crime through mentorship. Last Friday, a few lucky Ballistic Artists got to squeeze into a variety of custom-built soapboxes and race down a hill behind the Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre.

The Vancouver Police Department, Vancouver Fire Department, Vancouver Giants, and a lot of other local teams spent the day competing for the best racer title while raising money for NASKARZ. NASKARZ (Never Again Steal Cars) is an award-winning program that addresses youth and gang crime through positive relationships. This innovative program also provides young people from the Downtown Eastside with automotive, social, and educational opportunities. Under the supervision of volunteers, the vehicles that were used in the Soapbox Derby were built by the youth in the NASKARZ program.

After a full day of racing in the sun, the Vancouver Fire Department emerged victorious and received the 2016 Ray-Cam Soapbox Derby trophy. Even though we didn’t win the grand prize, we had a blast making many new memories.