WEST ORANGE, NJ — Aspiring Kindness Foundation, which raises money for first responders, emergency service providers, and fire prevention and education programs, will hold its fourth annual Charity Golf Outing at the new Montclair Golf Club at Rock Spring in West Orange on Monday, June 20. Reflecting the origins of the charity that was formed in the aftermath of the Seton Hall University dormitory fire, the organization hopes to raise $25,000 to benefit the university’s fire prevention programs.
Aspiring Kindness Foundation, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit public corporation, was created by childhood friends of Aaron Karol, one of three freshmen who died in the January 2000 Boland Hall fire. Borrowing his initials in giving their philanthropic effort a name, the AK Foundation raises money as a tribute to Karol and the other young men who died: Frank Caltabilota and John Giunta. The charity golf outing is the foundation’s biggest annual fundraiser.
During the past three years, the event has raised more than $35,000. Last year $20,000 was donated to Seton Hall’s Housing and Residence Life Department. In 2014, proceeds of $12,000 supported the university’s health and counseling services, and new uniforms for South Orange Rescue Squad in 2013.
“It’s incredible how each year the support grows for our foundation and this golf outing. The public’s strong support speaks volumes to Aaron Karol’s legacy, Seton Hall University, the community and the significance of this cause,” Aspiring Kindness Executive Director Jason Tarantino said in a press release. “We are proud to name Seton Hall as the benefactor for the third consecutive year. This grant will be used to support a robust fire prevention campus program.”
The Boland Hall fire ushered in a new era of fire safety at Seton Hall, which makes fire prevention a priority, and at colleges and universities throughout the nation.
“The Housing and Residence Life staff is grateful for the passion and commitment of Aspiring Kindness as we work to enhance our current students’ knowledge of the history of the Boland Hall fire. What is especially important is strengthening our students’ ability to make good choices about fire prevention and safety on campus and throughout their lives,” Tara Hart, director of housing and residence life at SHU, said in the release. “These collaborations keep the memory of Aaron, Frank and John alive today on campus in an extraordinary way. We feel blessed to work with Aspiring Kindness.”
The charity golf outing is a day-long event that includes a round of golf with cart, use of the practice facilities, breakfast, lunch and dinner including an open bar, beer and non-alcoholic drinks in coolers throughout the course in addition to a beverage cart, an Aspiring Kindness Foundation memorabilia gift, and contests and prizes. Longest Drive and the Closest to the Pin contests are scheduled, and the awards include First Place Scramble and Second Place Scramble, among others. The Montclair Golf Club at Rock Spring is home to an 18-hole par 71 championship golf course that has hosted numerous PGA and USGA events.