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The City Journals

Mother-son game night aims for success with Pinewood Derby

May 08, 2017 03:57PM ● By Brian Shaw

Kids participate at mother-son game night. (Photo/Myrna Clark

By Brian Shaw  | [email protected] 

For years now, the father-daughter dance held every year at the Columbus Center has become the main attraction for area residents.

That wildly popular dance has even spawned copycats across the Salt Lake valley. It also spawned a 60s-themed senior ball last month at the center that was heavily attended.

With that in mind, South Salt Lake Deputy Recreation Director Myrna Clark—who started the dance craze as well—continues to find ways to bond family members even closer.

Clark’s latest idea? Hold a family game night at the Columbus Center complete with some of the events you might see at a Cub Scout outing or even at the family home. This year, she said she decided to introduce a Pinewood Derby.

“I’ve got four boys and I helped them make their cars,” said Clark regarding her idea. She added that she wanted to include in the invitation all mothers and sons, and that dads are also welcome to attend the mother-son event. 

The Pinewood Derby—a race usually reserved for scouting events—is bound to be a success, said Clark. She added that the first 50 boys to pre-register at the center will receive a Pinewood Derby car kit complete with everything they will need to build their speed demon at home, in time for the big race.

On the day of the event, May 5, from 6 to 9 p.m., Clark will get her first opportunity to see whether this novel idea will fly. As the flier that Clark’s department distributed online and in city offices clearly states, there will also be “music, friendly games, food and lots of fun.”

For $4 per mother-son duo and $1 per each additional son, Clark added that you get a lot out of the experience. “There will be softball throws, inflatables, soccer kicks, food and other fun games like a watermelon eating contest,” she said. “It gets very competitive.”

Another interesting twist to this event is that Clark is urging all attendees to wear a shirt featuring their favorite college sports team. The reason for this, she added, is that she’s invited several college athletes to attend the event.

“I wanted to invite the college players to come to further educational opportunities for these kids,” said Clark, who added that players from University of Utah and BYU have accepted—among other schools. “They’re great role models and you don’t just get to watch them on TV; now you can come over and mingle and get to know them in person. They will hopefully get a chance to race a car, too.”