Victor and Markita Kaulius with photo of their daughter Kassandra, who was killed by a drunk driver in Surrey. (Photo: Now-Leader)

Surrey softball tourney raising funds this weekend for Kassandra Kaulius memorial scholarship

Aspiring teacher and gifted pitcher was killed by a drunk driver in 2011

SURREY — Twenty-four women’s teams will play ball this weekend to raise money for a scholarship set up in memory of a Surrey woman who was killed by a drunk driver.

The fifth annual Kassandra Kaulius Memorial Softball Tournament will be at Softball City in South Surrey June 23-25, hosted by the Kaulius family and Surrey Storm Softball Association.

The 22-year-old aspiring teacher and pitcher for the Storm’s senior ladies team was heading home from playing a game of softball at Cloverdale Athletic Park on May 3, 2011 when a drunk motorist driving a van ran a red light and T-boned her car at 103 km/h., at 152nd Street and 64th Avenue.

READ ALSO: Fighting still, in Surrey and Ottawa, for Kassandra’s Law

Kassandra’s mom, Markita Kaulius, said the annual tournament is “bittersweet” because her family gets to see her daughter’s old teammates and swap stories but, she added, “We know how much she would have loved being there to play in this tournament herself.”

The tournament is now the largest senior women’s softball tournament in the province for ages 18 and up, she said.

“At the time of Kassandra’s death she was studying to become a teacher and it was her dream to make a difference and give back to others,” Kaulius said. To date, 21 scholarships have been given. That’s $15,000, all told.

“Our dream was to assist another young person in helping make their dream come true of pursuing a post-secondary education. It helps in our healing that in a small way Kassandra is still helping someone receive their education.”

The Kaulius family will also host a prize table and have raffles with all proceeds to the scholarship fund. One is offered through Clayton Heights secondary, which Kassandra attended, for $500 and another, for $1,000, is offered through Softball B.C.

“One other recipient that benefits from the tournament is the Surrey Memorial Hospital,” Kaulius noted. “Each softball player who enters the tournament must bring a new unwrapped toy as their entrance to the tournament. All of the toys that are collected are donated to the Surrey Memorial Hospital for those children in need. They may be in hospital for an illness and receiving treatment so this way they will get a new toy.”

Softball City is located at 2201 148th Street.

tom.zytaruk@ surreynowleader.com