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NKY Boys Heads to New York City for Pinewood Derby World Championship

A local boy is headed to the 2018 Pinewood Derby World Championship in New York City.

Tate Bailey, 7, of Union, has been a Pinewood Derby enthusiast since joining the Cub Scouts ahead of first grade. In the event, kids build their own cars to specifications with the help of a parent.

Bailey will represent Cub Scouts Pack 805 and the Greater Cincinnati Dan Beard Council.

His mother, Brittani, set up a GoFundMe page and raised nearly $2,500 for the trip.

Tate was about to start first grade when he saw the Cub Scouts booth at New Haven Elementary orientation.

Tate turned to his mom and said, "I want to shoot a BB gun, and try a slingshot!"

So Brittani signed him up.

When the Pinewood Derby rolled around, the family went through a few car kits before figuring out the best way forward.

"I was thinking, it's a kit, you glue it, paint it, and put on some stickers and you're done," Brittani recalled. "Turns out you have to cut the wood, sand it, and try to make it look like a car. I thought, Oh, my gosh, are you kidding me? I tried different saws, and finally Tate's best friend's dad loaned me a Dremel tool, and a sander. This was all new to me. But we were still pounding the wheels on it right before the first race. The wheels finally stayed on!"

Tate, who is named for Detroit Lions and Notre Dame football star Golden Tate, is obsessed with all-things Fighting Irish, so he named his car the Golden Rocket. B

Despite the car's troubled building process, the Golden Rocket won with Tate's den, and came in second in the Pack race. So last April, he was able to compete in the District race held at St. Pius X in Edgewood, where he won first place in his age group.

Now, the little boy is focused on the Big Apple - and the big prize.

"If he wins, it would be a first for the Dan Beard Greater Cincinnati area," said Brittani. "They tell me if he just goes and competes he is the first from the area. They have one child going from the Bluegrass Council, but he is the only one from this area."

They plan to leave on Friday, June 29, and the race will be on Saturday, June 30. Brittani said the family plans to do some sightseeing, and maybe take in a baseball game.

"Tate is a huge Red Sox fan, and I have always been a Yankees fan," Brittani said. "It has been a dream of mine to see the two teams play, and by some coincidence they are playing on Sunday, so I was able to get tickets. Tate is so excited to see the teams play. He loves sports."

Brittani was a little worried that with all the fanfare, and that Tate might be hugely disappointed if he doesn't win.

"I told him, Tate, you know, just going to New York, you have already won a lot," she said. "I said, I hope you won't be upset if you don't win. And he looked at me with his little grin, and said, Don't worry, Mom, all I can do is my best! 

"That just melted my heart."

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor
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