StuCo car smash raises money for leukemia research


Members of the 2018-2019 student council prepare for the second annual Car Smash fundraiser. This year, the car was donated by English teacher Nicole Clemens. Photo by Maya Bell.

Saly Seye

The sharp, familiar scent of smoke wafted through the air last night behind the Career Center. High schoolers buzzed with amusement watching their peers, clad in a football helmet and safety goggles, take a skinny metal bat to a banged-up Jeep. With toasty, charred s’mores in hand to offset the chilly fall evening, students huddled together in pods of fleece blankets to socialize, eat and spend time around one another.
Last night, Student Council held its second annual car smash from 7-9 pm. Last year, the event raised money for hurricane relief by charging students $2 in exchange for the opportunity to pummel a car for 30 seconds. This year, the fee stayed but instead, proceeds went to cancer research.
The event aimed to support leukemia survivors, StuCo member Mary  Kate Grossman said, adding that the complex form of cancer affected former RBHS students.
“We’re joining together with the football team to raise money for leukemia research and treatment,” Grossman said. “Along with several [RBHS] alumni who have been impacted by [leukemia].”

“we’re joining together with the football team to raise money for leukemia research and treatment.”

Attendees could make free s’mores and listen to the music provided by Clear 99 Radio Station. While some participated in the smashing, others, like sophomore Emily Dearing, did not actually partake in the car smash.
“I didn’t [smash the car],” Dearing said. “Because I would rather watch [other] people do it than do it myself.”
For those who did partake in the car smash, safety, StuCo member Peyton Brooks said, was a top priority regardless.
“We made sure people had gloves, goggles and helmets on,” Brooks said. “We had helmets brought in from the football team. We made sure they could hear us tell them not to open the doors to the car, and we made sure the area was taped off.”
Smashing the car, while kept low-danger, was a unique outlet, said Senior Arden Beard.
“I honestly just wanted to let out all my built up anger,” said Beard, “So smashing the car was therapy, in a way.”
With safety a non-concern, the atmosphere was calm. Dearing said she enjoyed her time spent there.
“I had so much fun,” Dearing said. “The atmosphere was very relaxed and everyone [was] having a great time together.”