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Published on July 20, 1998

OPINION

Racing where everybody wins Dealers seeking a worthy project might want to become a local sponsor in the All American Soap Box Derby.

The annual gravity-powered racing event is enjoyed worldwide by more than 5,000 boys and girls who compete in state or regional races for the right to take part in championship runoffs in Akron.

Two tire makers are supporting this year's derby. Goodyear is contributing funds and scholarship prizes for the Aug. 8 championship, which will be aired nationally on PBS television courtesy of Bridgestone/ Firestone Inc.

Tire dealers seem ideally suited to get involved in the Soap Box Derby. Besides being community-oriented businesses, dealerships offer professional service in tires and vehicle handling, areas of keen importance to derby racers.

Dealerships wanting to boost their image could sponsor one or more youngsters or help organize a Derby chapter in their home area. This also would contribute to their communities.

A few dealers have provided such support during the event's 61-year history.

To learn about local sponsorship, contact the All American Soap Box Derby, P.O. Box 7225, Akron, Ohio 44306; (330) 733-8723. Fax: (330) 733-1370.

Gallagher joins dealer ranks

We hear lots of stories from dealers about how tough it is to make a decent living in today's retail tire business.

But that hasn't swayed Goodyear executive Ed Gallagher from trading in his business suit for a chance to run his own dealership.

The Goodyear vice president, who has held key retail posts with the company, said he had considered this move for a long time.

With many dealers expressing concern about the future, Mr. Gallagher's decision can only be viewed as an expression of confidence.

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