Excitement behind the wheel as kids gear up for Lynnwood Rotary Challenge race


Racers ages 5 and up gathered at the Lynnwood Transit Center parking lot Sunday to participate and have fun in the Rotary Club of Lynnwood’s Challenge Series Races.

The event included raffle drawings, snacks, pizza lunch and, of course, racing on soapbox-style cars.

Children with developmental disabilities rode in the cars, assisted by older children who had been trained as co-drivers to guide the cars and apply the brakes along the course.

Several area Rotary Clubs sponsor similar races, and this the third year the Lynnwood club has participated.

A special guest appearance was made by popular pro racer Molly Helmuth. Asked how it felt to not be racing Sunday, she said, “Well, it’s going to a great cause. It’s wonderful to see these kids being so excited behind the wheel of a race car. So I’m happy to be here.”

This year’s count of 27 racers is double that of last year, according to  Anne-Marie Lake, a Challenge Series committee member. “The thing we did this year was we got people from the community to come and participate. So it’s more of a festive community atmosphere,” she said.

Lynnwood City Councilmember Shannon Sessions was the emcee, announcing race assignments and engaging racers in discussions ranging from their favorite colors to pizza toppings and TV shows.

The Rotary Club of Lynnwood partnered with the City of Lynnwood, Community Transit, Edmonds School District and Life Enrichment Options (LEO). LEO is a nonprofit that advocates for and works to support individuals with developmental disabilities to achieve their goals through supportive housing, recreation, employment opportunities and community education.

— Story and photos by David Carlos


  1. Thanks David Carlos for a great article! This was a truly integrated event for kids of all abilities – younger children and children with disabilities were co-drivers on Sunday, along with the select group of trained drivers. We so appreciate all the community involvement and volunteers who came out to enjoy the event!


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