Kappa Sigma smashes stress

Courtesy Photo / Rich Warner
Students take out end of the year stresses on a car

Courtesy Photo / Rich Warner Students take out end of the year stresses on a car

Susie Skowronek

Take one junk of a car. Surround it with fraternity men. Hand them sledgehammers. Wait three hours.

When the Car Smash began at 3 p.m. Thursday, the white 1999 Pontiac Grand Am was in relatively good condition, considering the car had about 286,000 miles to its name. And considering that a pile of hammers and spray paint lay in wait.

Already, some members of Kappa Sigma, the community fraternity that sponsored the smash, had taken sledgehammers to the metal structure. Some of the paint had chipped, and a hole about the size of a hammerhead defaced the hood of the car.

The Kappa Sigma members collected donations of $1 per hit for their national philanthropy until 6 p.m. in an overflowed parking lot at 48 West. They handed out free Monster energy drinks, and 48 West provided free hot chocolate.

The donations will benefit Kappa Sigma’s national philanthropy, the Military Heroes Campaign. The campaign aids wounded military veterans returning from active duty and offers funds to the Fisher House Foundation.

The Fisher House Foundation unites 38 homes on military grounds. The homes include up to 21 suites used as free housing for families of patients receiving attention at the nearby medical facilities.

As for the car, a fraternity members’ father, who works at a dealership, donated the clunker.

Over the course of Thursday afternoon, many took a swing at it. Sophomore Kurtis Arnold aimed the hammer at the front bumper beneath the right front headlight. Although he swung several clean hits, the bumper did not give way. Arnold only managed to chip a bit of paint. Still, he said the experience felt awesome.

“Stress is definitely relieved,” he said standing next to the Pontiac with “f—- exams” written in spray paint on the side doors.

After smashing the car once, Arnold looked forward to taking another swing.

“Maybe the door or the top,” he said, considering his options.

One lucky sledgehammer-wielding car smasher had the opportunity to take out the front windshield. At the end of the afternoon, the prized part of the car was auctioned for $20.

“The windshield (was the) best part,” said Zachary Devereaux, current treasurer and next semester’s president for the Grand Valley State University chapter of Kappa Sigma. “The sledgehammer went through the windshield, and we had to retrieve it from the inside of the car.”

In total, the Car Smash raised $98.50.

“By the end of the night, the car was in pretty rough shape,” Devereax said. “The front bumper was off, and the back bumper was torn off.”

Devereaux said for many members of Kappa Sigma, the Military Heroes Campaign strikes close to the heart, as many the fraternity members have family members or friends overseas in Afghanistan.

Nationally, Kappa Sigma recently donated an entire Fisher House in the name of former Sen. Bob Dole, the 1970 Kappa Sigma Man of the Year.

In a statement released by Kappa Sigma, Dole said he felt honored by the dedication and impressed by the work of his fraternity brothers.

“Their efforts have provided support to our service men and women, who exhibit uncommon bravery and represent our country as patriots each day, and to their families, whose sacrifice and support is inseparable and indispensable,” Dole said in the press release. “This truly meets Kappa Sigma’s initiative of service to our fellow man and is a testament to the values of our fraternity.”

[email protected]