CLARK, NJ – Girls, boys, leaders and parents recently gathered around a local racetrack to cheer on their favorite car in the contest.   It was all family fun at the Annual Powder Puff Derby.

On Saturday, January 25, more than 50 girls from the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey Service Unit 53, “Clark, Garwood, & Winfield Girl Scouts” (CGWGS) came ready to race the gravity-powered wooden cars that they built and designed from scratch.

According to scout leader Leigh Anne Jadro, (Leader, Troop 41248) many of the girls had learned about car design and construction at the first ever Car Construction Clinic, hosted jointly with Clark Cub Scout Pack 145 two weeks prior to the race.

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The clinic gave Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts of all ages who were unfamiliar with the car-building process the chance to learn hands-on the ins and outs of building a derby car for scratch, and the physics of racing fast. Brownie level Girl Scouts even had the opportunity to earn a special Race Car Design badge.

The day’s events were conducted by Jadro with the assistance of Rachael Hand (Leader, Troop 41292) and announced enthusiastically by Sheryl Gluck (Troop 40626).

The CGWGS Powder Puff Derby Winners were:


  • 1st Place: Gabriella Sulikowski
  • 2nd Place: Eve Pitta
  • 3rd Place: Ruby Tomkowski
  • Best Craftsmanship: Hayley Francavilla
  • Most Colorful: Julia O’Brien
  • Fastest Looking Car: Juliette Raab
  • Most Bling: Hope Schadewald
  • Most Girl Made: Rebecca Schubring


  • 1st Place: Catherine Hudak
  • 2nd Place: Isabella Breece
  • 3rd Place: Noelle Rizkalla
  • Toughest Looking Car: Mia Arvelo
  • Most Sporty Car: Ellie Majewski
  • Most Patriotic: Catherine Hudak
  • Sweetest Car: Noelle Rizkalla
  • Most Unique Car: Nora Zerella
  • Most Royal: Charlotte Pitta
  • Cutest Car: Julianne Johnson
  • Funniest Car: Olivia Serioux
  • Most Creative Car: Olivia Gillespie
  • Most Scout-Themed Car: Gabriella DeSanto
  • Most Original Design: Lilijana Jadro


  • 1st Place: Samantha Sulikowski
  • 2nd Place: Avery Fogu
  • 3rd Place: Alison Silva
  • Best Sportsmanship: Lauren Gluck


  • 1st Place: Isabella Papa
  • 2nd Place: Isabella Sulikowski
  • 3rd Place: Kiersten Mathison
  • Best Car Name: Lucy Gilio
  • Best Paint Job: Kiersten Mathison

Overall Winners

  • 1st Place: Isabella Papa with her car “Star of the Show”
  • 2nd Place: Samantha Sulikowski with her car “The Jackrabbit”
  • 3rd Place: Catherine Hudak with her car “The Marvelous Fury”

This year’s Family Race category had several last-minute withdrawals, leaving Bernard Sulikowski as the winner of the uncontested race according to Jadro. Rather than make him race alone, his car ran against the cars of his three daughters, Samantha, Isabella, and Gabriella, who were all winners in their divisions and placed 2nd, 4th, and 7th overall respectively.

Jadro  expressed thanks on behalf of CGWGS to Cub Scout Pack 145, especially Scoutmaster Tom Klimic and Assistant Scoutmaster Matthew Jadro, for working collaboratively to allow for the CGWGS Powder Puff Derby to be held on the same day as the Cub Scout Pack 145 Pinewood Derby.  She also expressed appreciation for them letting the CGWGS use their track and computer software, and for their assistance in planning and running the Car Construction Clinic.

Jadro was grateful for the help of their student-volunteer track operators Joe Hovick, Michael Karnaugh, Ashley Rose Breinin, and Julianna Cistaro, and the many parents who contributed baked goods and helped to run the kitchen. She also recognized local businesses who donated to the event including: ShopRite of Clark, Vaccaro’s Bakery, Jersey Mike’s Subs in Clark, Philly Pretzel Factory in Westfield, Target of Clark, Trader Joe’s, and Bagel Chateau in Westfield.