A Cal Poly fraternity’s alumni teed off at a Nipomo golf course Friday morning in honor of former Cal Poly student Carson Starkey who died in an alleged hazing incident three years ago.
Delta Sigma Phi alumni raised thousands of dollars for Aware Awake Alive, a non-profit that aims to increase awareness about alcohol poisoning on college campuses Friday at Blacklake Golf Course. The organization has swept the campus this year as a tribute to Carson, who died in 2008.
Through hole sponsors and silent-auction bidders, the alumni raised an estimated $5,000 to donate to the Aware Awake Alive charity. The fraternity presented the check to Starkey’s parents Julia and Scott, who co-founded Aware Awake Alive in the summer of 2011. Julia said she was “overwhelmed” by the fraternity’s donation to the organization.
“It shows the support of a national organization like that, and they’re really backing us,” she said.
The money will be used to help promote a new online feature called the Toolbox, Julia said. The Toolbox is a recently launched resource available for free to colleges that provides multimedia content for different university departments such as housing, athletics and orientation programs to help educate students on the dangers of alcohol poisoning.
Julia said much of what’s featured in the new program was first implemented at Cal Poly this year.
“Cal Poly’s been the perfect role model for universities all over,” Julia said. “It’s not just a one-shot, tell about it on the first day at school and forget about it.”
Though much of Aware Awake Alive’s success has been found at Cal Poly, Julia said further national expansion is one of the organization’s goals and is something they are actively pursuing. She spoke with a representative from Delta Sigma Phi’s national board of directors at a barbecue following the golf tournament about these plans.
“We had a conversation with their executive director about taking Aware Awake Alive on the national level, and we’re real excited about that,” Julia said.
The philanthropy event took place one week after a party landed Delta Sigma Phi in trouble with local police and the Cal Poly Office of Student Life and Leadership (SLL).
The fraternity is currently on a cease-and-desist order after two arrests and four unruly gathering citations began an ongoing SLL investigation into the organization’s involvement with the party. SLL director Stephan Lamb said the fraternity was allowed to participate in the golf tournament due to its philanthropic nature and connection to alumni.
Calls to Delta Sigma Phi members and alumni regarding the golf tournament were not returned as of press time.
Sean McMinn contributed to this article.