TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. — He was born on the Fourth of July.
He died in the line of duty, a noise complaint that turned into a nightmare.
Tarpon Springs Police Officer Charlie Kondek was married to his wife Teresa and had five kids – all of whom banded together this Independence Day to pay special tribute to the man they love.
The Officer Charlie K. Memorial Blood Drive, in conjunction with One Blood , was a celebration of a life – and saving lives.
“He would be pretty excited,” says Teresa Kondek, standing in front of the iconic Big Red Bus. “He was a blood donor. He loved the Fourth of July. He was very patriotic. And today’s his birthday.”
The event, hosted for several hours outside of a Publix in Tarpon Springs, drew a large crowd, including members of the Tarpon Springs Police Department.
“Charlie was all about family, friends, and community,” says his supervisor, Sgt. Scott Osarczuk. “I know, right now, Charlie’s for it. We see it every day, people in life-threatening emergencies needing blood.”
Before the event, Teresa paid a visit to the birthday boy himself:
“I spent a little time at his grave last night and told him that I hope we’re making him proud.”
To learn more about Officer Kondek,