Car smash event part of Sigma Tau Gamma week-long Special Olympics Michigan fundraiser
Commerce Township senior Chris Barnes stood next to his car between Pearce and Anspach halls and watched people smash its body with a bright orange hammer.
Students paid $1 per swing or $5 for six swings as the hammer came with a sharp retort from echoes around the courtyard between the buildings.
Committed to a week-long fundraising effort for Special Olympics Michigan, the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity offered students amid the cold and snow a chance to hit a car with a hammer.
Greg Pierce, a Grand Rapids sophomore, was one of the organizers for the event. He said about 100 people participated in the event held Friday and Saturday.
"I feel like it was a success, for the weather," Pierce said. "It wasn't the best of weather. If we had it Monday when it was in the '80s, we would have had a better turnout."
The fraternity's original plan was to hold the event only on Friday. Pierce said he thought the bad weather on Friday was why Central Michigan University extended its permission for the fraternity to use the courtyard for the event on Saturday also.
Half of the proceeds from the fraternity's fundraising efforts will benefit SOMI. The other half will go to the winning sorority after a week-long fundraising events competition for sororities. The winner will have to decide on a philanthropy to donate that money. The sororities were scored throughout the week for different point assignments from all the different fundraising events.
Pierce said the results of the competition and the total amount of money raised was not yet determined.
Barnes donated his car to the event after it broke down one day returning home from work.
"I'm driving my cousin's car while he's at Air Force boot camp in Texas," Barnes said. "It's quite an upgrade from this one."
The car Barnes donated is a 1996 Pontiac Bonneville; his cousin's car is a Pontiac Grand Prix. Barnes said he has a lot of memories of the car with about 160,000 miles built up.
"It got me out to Pennsylvania," he said, smiling at the car. "I hit a deer on Deerfield Road. Isn't that ironic"