Cal Poly fraternity game to honor hazing victim Carson Starkey

A Cal Poly fraternity will host a softball tournament Sunday to help prevent hazing in honor of Carson Starkey, the 18-year-old freshman who died in 2008 from alcohol-related fraternity hazing. The softball event, which will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Santa Rosa Park in San Luis Obispo, is called “Home Runs Against Hazing.”

All proceeds will go to the Carson Starkey Fund — a nonprofit started by Starkey’s parents to provide scholarships and support outdoor trips designed to help students confront stressful situations.

“Carson Starkey’s death had a huge impact and we want to encourage a strict no-hazing policy because we don’t believe in hurting those you’re supposed to be friends with,” said Cyrus Taghipour, a Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity organizer.

The tournament will match Cal Poly sororities against each other in softball games and include a home run derby between local law enforcement officers and members of Cal Poly fraternities.

The public is invited to watch the games, enjoy music from a DJ and donate money, as well as eat barbecue from the San Luis Obispo restaurant G Brothers Smokehouse. A percentage of food and drink sales will go to the fund.

Scott and Julia Starkey, who live in Austin, Texas, wrote in an e-mail that Sunday’s event is “a positive way to honor Carson’s life and bring the San Luis Obispo community together for a common good.”

“We are humbled by the community’s continued support,” they wrote. “Always remember to help one another.”

The Carson Starkey Fund provides a scholarship to a graduating senior of S.F. Austin High School in Texas, where Starkey attended.

The fund also supports organizations that host outdoor trips — including rock climbing, backpacking and mountain biking — to help individuals “develop the skills, confidence and compassion needed to successfully recognize and overcome stressful real-life situations.”