SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A charity in honor of one of three students killed in a fire at a Seton Hall University dorm 14 years ago is looking to make a difference and prevent other catastrophes.

Aaron Karol’s friends keep his spirit alive. As the years recede into memory, the charity Aspiring Kindness carries on, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported.

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“We created the name to be based on his initials, so Aaron Karol, but everyone called him A.K.,” said Karol’s childhood friend Jason Tarantino.

Karol and two other freshmen were killed on Jan. 19, 2000 when two other students set a banner on fire in the third floor lounge of a dorm. Dozens of others were also hurt.

A decade later, Tarantino and friends started Aspiring Kindness to raise funds for emergency service responders, hospital burn units and the Aaron Karol memorial scholarship.

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“Really, what we’re looking to do is prevent things like this,” Tarantino said. “So we partner with Saint Barnabas and Seton Hall and the South Orange Fire Department to go out there and help spread the word.”

On July 28, the Maplewood Country Club will host a charity golf outing with a goal of raising $10,000 to benefit Seton Hall’s health and counseling services.

“Tragedy doesn’t have to end in something tragic, but rather honoring the memory of someone who has been lost in the way as Aaron was, is the best way to honor them,” said Tara Hart, director of Housing and Residence Life at Seton Hall.

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