Over the past nine months I have been contacted by dozens of people about why the derby did not happen in 2014, and will it happen in 2015? Well, the answer to both questions is the same. The Montague Soapbox Derby needs a sponsor: an organization that is willing to be the fiscal agent, and the administrator of the derby.
MCTV was the owner for the first four years of the derby. They took out the insurance, and set up the bank account where all monies went into and came out of. And they were the beneficiary. If there was any profit, it went towards the station's capital needs for things like cameras, etc.
After running it for four years the board of directors and staff of MCTV decided not to hold it the following year, and ultimately to divest themselves of it altogether. It was now time to find a new owner for the derby.
I contacted many organizations in Montague. By March of 2014 it was apparent I was coming up empty, so I called it. No derby that year. I tried one additional organization in January of this year, 2015, but after a month of deliberations, they decided to not pick it up either.
So now I am appealing to the general public, and calling all organizations in Montague. If you enjoyed the derby in the past, or are looking to potentially bring in some money at an annual event, please contact me and let me know if you are interested in being the new owner of this event.
What does it take? At a minimum, you will need to set up a bank account, take out the insurance, and be the official organization associated with the event when meeting with the police department, fire dept, parks and recreation, and the select board. You would also need to build a committee of about seven or eight people, each with active participation in building the event. On the day of the event it takes about 40 volunteers.
I would definitely remain on the planning committee and would act as a consultant to the event, though I do not really want to be the director anymore. I would actually like to race in it for once!
Although MCTV did not fully maximize all the potential income, we did learn many things over the first four years, and now know what it would take to have the event generate several thousand dollars... while providing a day's entertainment for everyone.
A full planning document is available from the homepage of MontagueSoapboxDerby.com.
So, if you have Montague pride, and belong to an organization that has active board and member participation, and are seeking potential new income from an annual event, please contact me at 413-320-5336 about taking on the Montague Soapbox Derby.