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Youngsters take pride in their pine cars at Hagerstown church event

March 03, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN - As the blur of green, blue and red paint crossed the finish line at the Tri-State Fellowship pine car derby Sunday, 5-year-old Garrett Evans bounced with delight.

"Mine's the fastest in the world," he said proudly.

Garrett and his 7-year-old brother, Hayden, had each designed and painted their own pine cars to race in the derby, hosted by Tri-State Fellowship, an Evangelical Free church west of Hagerstown. Garrett chose racing stripes for his car, while Hayden's design was inspired by the American flag.

Their father, Tom Evans, 38, of Hagerstown, helped with the more technical aspects, such as mounting the wheels and adding the weights. Evans said he participated in a Cub Scout pine car derby as a boy, but didn't remember building the car because his father did most of the work.

"I wanted to make sure the kids had the opportunity to do it themselves so 20 years from now, looking back, they will remember being the ones to do it, not me," Evans said.

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His sons were two of the 56 children and teens to enter cars in the derby's 15-and-younger division Sunday. Many of the participants were members of Tri-State Fellowship, but this year's event also drew many nonmembers, organizer Paul Ostoich said.

The model car building and racing events have long been a staple of Cub Scouts, but Ostoich said he wanted to open it up to other audiences, while giving local Scouts another opportunity to race their creations.

Sunday's fastest car, a glittery wedge shape built by 10-year-old Travis Kendle of Fairplay, was originally created for a Boy Scout derby, Travis said.

Jake Boutieller, 11, of Hagerstown, took home first-place ribbons for most unique design and audience favorite for his Coke-bottle themed design.

He said a vintage Coke bottle passed down from his grandfather inspired the design.

Tri-State Fellowship's lead pastor, Randy Buchman, applauded the intergenerational aspect of the event.

"That's a real value we have as a church," he said. "We want to see our faith transferred from one generation to another, and this gets them working and talking together. If you win this, it's something you win together."

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