Turtles race in Youngstown to raise money for Rescue Mission

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The Youngstown Lions Club held its 56th annual Turtle Derby on Monday to raise funds for the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley.

The race is almost like the Kentucky Derby — just much, much slower.

Ten teams pick out turtles and race them along the track. The event is the only fundraiser the club holds all year.

“This money contributed — it stays all locally,” Adam Costello of the Lions Club said.

The club is raising money for the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley, which is now in the midst of a nearly $10 million capital campaign for a new building.

“The Rescue Mission does so many wonderful things that people give them credit for,” Costello said. “So to contribute to them building a new facility to help out anyone they’re helping out, it’s just an honor.”

The money will also be used elsewhere in the Valley — to help children get eye screenings.

The National Eye Institute says the number of people with visual impairments is expected to double to about eight million people by 2050.

“We like to give back to the community,” Diane Hardenbrook of the Lions Club said. “We like to give back to people that need help and make our community a better place.”

So far the club has raised more than $25,000.

If there are any adults looking to get an eye screening as well, you can get one at the Canfield Fair.

And on a happy note for the turtles, once the races were over, most of the turtles were adopted by the kids who raced them.