MCHD Cannon Team serves as starters for Pinewood Derby

March 4, 2023

MCHD Cannon Team serves as starters for Pinewood Derby

MOBILE, Ala. — The Mobile County Health Department’s Cannon Team made its first outing of 2023 this morning to signal the start of the Cub Scout Pack 84’s Pinewood Derby at Crossroads Baptist Church in Mobile.

This is a wooden car racing event. Scouts build their own unpowered, unmanned miniature cars from a block of pine wood, plastic wheels, and metal axles. The cars are propelled by gravity down a track. The first Pinewood Derby took place on May 15, 1953, in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

In 2016, an initiative called “MCHD Declares War on Physical Inactivity” began. Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II, then serving as Health Officer for Mobile County, pointed out that Alabama has one of the highest percentages of obesity in America.

Dr. Kevin Philip Michaels, who assumed the position of Health Officer in 2022, has supported the mission of the Cannon Team. By taking part in community events, it encourages local residents to go outside and enjoy our beautiful surroundings while exercising.

The Lyle Line-Throwing Cannon, which has a 2.5-inch-diameter barrel, was manufactured in the early 1900s by Coston. It is not a replica, reproduction, or toy. The cannon was designed to fire a projectile attached to a rope to a boat or a victim in distress. Now it used to inspire those seeking a healthier lifestyle.

Derrick Scott supervises a team of MCHD employees that has been trained to safely use the device. Joining him on Saturday were Roxanne Lee (who fired the cannon), Adrian Perdue, Dana Burroughs, Edward Franklin, James Currie, John Richardson, Patricia Poellnitz, and Patricia Suggs.

Any other groups interested in having the MCHD Cannon Team attend their event should contact the Office of Communications by calling 251-690-8823 or via email at