Funk Box Derby rolling through Auburn

Creators say main goal is to have fun
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Auburnites should get ready to see some kooky creations roll down Lincoln Way for a cause. The Auburn Funk Box Derby is back in town. The event begins Sunday morning with the Auburn Jeep Club $5 pancake breakfast. Opening ceremonies start around 12:30 p.m. and the cars begin their runs around 1 p.m., according to Keith Hentschel, chairman of the event, which is coming back to Auburn for the second year after an 18-year hiatus. Hentschel said there were about 15 creative entries last year and people were excited for the second run. Hentschel said the derby is a fundraiser for Seniors First and the Auburn Active 20-30 Club. There are a couple differences with this year’s event, Hentschel said. “Because we have a couple cars that we had last year, we are going to do something different,” he said. “It’s basically a plan to allow smaller kids to drive these cars that come to the event. I think the original derby there was a start toward adults, so we are really trying to include the kids.” Although the derby is free to attend, Hentschel said he hopes parents that want to give their kids a chance to ride will make a $5 donation. Last year the event raised $2,000 for the two organizations, Hentschel said. Another difference this year is that the People’s Choice Award is being renamed as the “Feed a Senior” People’s Choice Award in honor of Seniors First Meals on Wheels in Auburn. Hentschel said there is an emphasis on educating people about the program. “So, it’s kind of a dual marketing effort,” he said. “One of the things that is really important to know is seniors … you have got a group back in the 1980s that started this thing that are seniors now … and we want to keep that part of it alive.” Celebrity judges this year include Councilman Kevin Hanley and Planning Commissioner Bob Snyder. Hentschel said you don’t have to be a craftsman to enter a fun car into the event. “We are more interested in creativity, how you use parts and put them together,” he said. Those who have cars to enter who haven’t already done so can still register on Sunday, Hentschel said. The event is also scheduled to include live music, food vendors, face painting, a jump house and more. Auburn resident Andrew Brigg has created two entries for the event, one for his family’s Go Kart racing team, Klonze Racing, and one for Michael’s Barber Styling in Auburn. The Klonze Racing car is called Gone with the Wind Plane Sailing and includes aspects from both a boat and a plane. It also includes two black painted plastic flamingos and a plastic bird that sits on top of the car’s sail. Brigg said after attending last year’s event, he was inspired to participate this year. “I looked to my wife to the right and I said, ‘I could build one of those,’” Brigg said. “And I looked to the left to Mike the barber and I said, ‘You should sponsor this.’” Brigg said he thinks the event is a good one for Auburn and that it appeals to an audience who just wants to have a good time. “It’s people friendly and everybody can participate whether you are an artist or mechanic or just want to go watch something that is fun,” he said. “And it’s a fundraiser. The object is to have fun.” The event also didn’t stretch his wallet very far, because he spent $100 on the Klonze Racing car and $25 for the Michael’s Barber Styling entry. “It’s an outlet not so much mechanically, but artistically you can have fun with it,” he said. “You don’t have to be an engineer to build a funky Go Kart.” Louie Osterude, co-owner of Empire Fence Co. in Penn Valley, is also entering a car for his business. The creation is called Fence Truck and is 99.9 percent fence pieces. “My first entry was up in Nevada City here this past year, that’s the reason why I got into it,” Osterude said. “I just wanted to enter and have a good time with it. I think it’s a good family oriented type event. I have my grandson and my granddaughter there because they come with me and my grandson drives it.” Reach Bridget Jones at ----------------------------------------------------- Auburn Funk Box Derby When: Sunday Where: Top of Lincoln Way in Downtown Auburn 8-10 a.m. – Auburn Jeep Club Pancake Breakfast at Lincoln Way near Promenade 9-10 a.m. – Safety check, registration 9 a.m. to noon – “Feed a Senior” voting 12:30 – Opening ceremonies 12:45 – Parade of derby cars 1 p.m. – Staging and start of event at the top of Lincoln Way 2 p.m. – Awards presentation 2:30 p.m. – Music, food, fun Website: Information: E-mail