The Bristol Press – Pinewood Derby helps cover medical bills for Cub with brain tumor

BRISTOL – The “Nick’s Epic Race” Pinewood Derby saw dozens of community volunteers turn up to help with the medical bills of Nick Parenti, a local Cub Scout diagnosed with a brain tumour.

The derby was sponsored by the Sons of 209 Squadron of the American Legion on behalf of Cub Scout Pack 425 and the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. Nick Parenti, 7, was out of state for a medical consultation on Saturday. Parenti’s older brother Alex, 11, attended the event with his father Rob Parenti.

Visitors who stopped to donate were able to race pine cars on race tracks or a “full throttle” race on a 100-foot ski run. They could use their own pre-cut base cars, cut their own cars, or bring their own cars to the races.

Rob Parenti said Nick Parenti was happy to hear how many people came out to support him.

“I spoke with him by video this morning and he is very happy,” said Rob Parenti. “He made his own pine green derby car which he called The Hulk. He told me to let him know how it was.

Alex Parenti said that two years ago, before the pandemic, he placed second in a Pinewood derby and his brother Nick placed first.

“I feel so happy that we are here to help my brother,” he said.

Brian Brady, Den Leader of Nick Parenti, said he “is a good boy”.

“He’s got a very polite attitude and he’s very competitive,” Brady said. “He loves the Pinewood Derby, he loves the outdoors a lot and he’s a huge sports fan. He is very good with other scouts.

Jen Capitao, the event organizer, said she has known the family since Nick Parenti arrived and wanted to help.

“Scouts alone are one big family,” she said. “We are more than happy to do our part.”

Zoey Rupert, 13, another Girl Scout from Troop 425, was handing out cars to attendees of the Pinewood Derby. She said the Pinewood Derby was “a really good project to help a local family in a bad situation”.

“It’s about raising awareness and raising funds,” she said. “I heard that Nick is a lovely and very nice child.”

Rob Parenti said the family set up a gofundme page to help with medical expenses. So far, thanks to community support, they have been able to raise $55,000. Their goal, he said, is to raise as much money as possible – at least $100,000.

“We are so grateful to everyone who has supported us,” he said.

Those wishing to support the Parenti family can do so by visiting

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or

Published in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Saturday, June 25, 2022 11:27 AM. Update: Saturday, June 25, 2022 11:30 a.m.

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