Aztecs smash cars, raise funds

by Laura Nguyen

03_28_13_News_Carsmashing_MLSan Diego State students and community members relieved stress with some fun by picking up protective vests, hard hats and items of their choosing to smash a car in the middle of campus. The event was the fourth annual car-smashing fundraiser hosted by the Associated Business Student Council to raise money to help underprivileged youth attend college.

The school-wide fundraiser, “Dollars for Scholars,” was held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday in front of Hepner Hall. For $3, donors could take a single hit at the car with a sledgehammer, golf club or baseball bat. For $5, participants could hit the car three times.

All of the proceeds will be donated to fund scholarships for San Diego and Imperial Valley students who are part of the San Diego and Imperial Counties California Student Opportunity and Access Program. ABSC co-adviser and Friends of Cal-SOAP Dollars for Scholars President Heather LaPerle stressed how important the fundraiser is to those students.

The program will give scholarships to low-income, first-generation, high-achieving students. Cal-SOAP supports children from underprivileged backgrounds because they face many financial burdens while attending college.

This year’s event was planned by ABSC Vice President Jordan Harrison, who began working on the event in August. One of Harrison’s biggest tasks was finding a smash-worthy car, which came from a mechanic shop in La Mesa.

The idea of a car-smashing fundraiser started when ABSC wanted to do a philanthropic event. LaPerle said it has since then been successful in giving students opportunities to support higher education.

SDSU alumnus Thomas Tilghman has been supporting the event since day one.

“The first time I heard about the chance to smash up a car and not get in trouble for it, I figured it was all good,” Tilghman said. “Once I found out the money was supporting Dollars for Scholars, which helps benefit future students, I realized it was exactly what I like to do.”

Tilghman recalled withdrawing money from an ATM a few times the first year he participated donating a total of $35. In the past two years that he could not attend it to the event, Tilghman gave others a chance to take a hit at the car by sponsoring people from his organization. Associated Students Vice President of University Affairs Matt Cecil also came back for a second year of car smashing.

“The first time I came out, it just felt good letting out pressure,” Cecil said. “This time, I just wanted to hit something.”

ABSC raised around $500 each of the first two years they hosted the car-smashing fundraiser.

Last year, the organization raised about $900. This year, ABSC raised $555 to donate toward Dollars for Scholars scholarships.