Demolition doing good

COSTA MESA — It was like a scene from a movie where drivers go at each other, hitting and crushing one another, but only this time, it was all real.

And the audience cheered, screamed, clapped and rooted for their favorite driver and car to win.

"You never really get to crush your own car, so you want to see other people do it," said Lori Galloway, who came to watch the Orange Crush Demolition Derby at the Orange County Fair with her husband for the fifth year in a row.

Twelve cars, including one that was auctioned off for a children's cause and another that was driven by a quadriplegic, crushed one another Saturday until only one remained standing. The winner, Eric Diggins of Laguna Beach, received $2,500.

Sunnyside Promotions puts on the event at the fair every year. The company got into the business more than 60 years ago and it hasn't gotten old yet, said Lisa Lenig, Sunnyside Promotions office manager and daughter of the company owner, Bob Basile.

The event wasn't all about having fun, but also about doing good for others. Santa Ana-based Ben's Asphalt, Inc. auctioned off one car at the 2 p.m. show for the Orangewood Children's Foundation, an organization that works to place abused or neglected children in a safe environment.

John Skeffington, who owns Ben's Asphalt with his brother, Bill, said they wanted to participate in the event in Orange County after seeing a demolition derby in Chino a few weeks ago.

"We wanted to bring awareness to Orangewood," Skeffington said.

Dan Neufeld of Costa Mesa came away as the winning bidder after offering $3,000 for the car. Then he handed the responsibility of driving the car to his 18-year-old son, Andrew, who was shaking a little before getting into the bright orange car.

"I donate money to a lot of causes and this sounded like a good cause, and I wanted him to have a good time," Dan Neufeld said of his son.

Andrew Neufeld wasn't the last one standing, but he did some damage to many of the cars around him. Asked if he would do it again, Andrew Neufeld said a firm "no."

The demolition derby was scheduled to take place for a second time at 8 p.m. Saturday. Ben's Asphalt planned to auction off two cars for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which is working to find a cure for breast cancer. Today, Sunnyside Promotions is also scheduled to do the Motor Home Madness Demolition Derby at the OC Fair.

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