Florida's First Lady, Ann Scott, Aleena, and our Governor Rick Scott
Memorial Bottle for Charlie
Five months after Charlie was killed, our friends took a short cruise to the Bahamas and threw a memorial bottle for Charlie into the ocean.
In the bottle was a letter from us to a stranger explaining all the things we loved about Charlie and how much he meant to us. We weren't sure who or if someone would find it or even where it would go so we put my email address on it hoping someone would read it and let us know how far it traveled. The purpose was to keep his name alive and to share our story with someone we never planned to meet.
A really nice couple found the bottle in NC! I love that they took the time to actually read about him and send us an email. Amazing!
Yesterday (Wed, May 20, 2015) we found your "memorial in a bottle" on Shackleford Banks, North Carolina (part of Cape Lookout National Seashore). Today we removed your letters from the bottle and went on-line to learn about the circumstances of Office Kondek's passing. What a terrible tragedy!
I am sure your husband will not be forgotten by anyone who knew him! As for your "memorial in a bottle", our plan is to display the bottle and your letters in our living room at home in Mississauga, Ontario (Canada) along with the information we found on-line concerning the tragic circumstances of his passing. In this way our children and grandchildren and other visitors will learn about Officer Kondek and his family.
It made a remarkable journey in a relatively short period of time! As I mentioned before, we found it on Shackleford Banks, a nine mile long, rather narrow, uninhabited island--uninhabited except for a herd of about 110 wild horses! We found the bottle in good condition at the high tide mark about two miles west of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse. All of this just to say that your bottle found a very beautiful spot to come to rest (our favourite place on the Crystal Coast) and we feel very honoured to have been the ones to find it!
Please accept our heart-felt condolences for the loss of your loved one! Our thoughts and prayers are with you!
The Tampa Bay Lightening honored Charlie's sacrifice during a game. Charlie was also recognized as the hometown hero. This organization has done an amazing job giving back to their community and always honoring our law enforcement officers as well as the military.
Giving back to the Tampa Bay Lightening, July 15, 2015
Chief Robert Kochen and Major Jeffrey Young presented a plaque to Tampa Bay Lightning Owner, Jeffrey Vinik, for the overwhelming support provided to the Tarpon Springs Police Department and our family.
Tom Dobies donated a new K9 to New Port Richey Police calling him K9 Charlie K
Tom Dobies is one of the most kind-hearted men I've ever met. He gives SO much to the community; especially law enforcement. Charlie always spoke so highly of him and now that the kids and I have had the opportunity to spend time with him, I understand why.
Tom is a great man with a HUGE heart. My kids adore him and he's become an awesome "Uncle" to them. I'm so grateful for everything he's done for us and I'll never forget the way he honored Charlie and made our good-bye's so memorable.
Shady Hills Little League Renames Field Honoring Charlie
Credit: Teresa Kondek
Charlie was honored at the Shady Hills Little League Park where I played softball as a kid. This is also where our kids played after school. We are so grateful for the people who made this happen and it was amazing to see how many people were there. My son Charlie threw the first pitch for the season. I know his father was watching with pride.
The Pasco County Parks and Recreation Department happily agreed to allow a memorial tree to be planted at one of the parks Charlie and I took our kids to over the years.
Some of the TSPD and FHP family came to help plant the tree with us.
Andrew's Memorial Truck
Credit: Matthew Thomas/FrostyFilm
Using the first truck his father bought with him, Andrew redesigned the entire truck to use as a memorial truck to honor his father and all fallen officers. He participates in parades and car shows and has done a great deal to make this special. Charlie would be so proud of him.
Credit: Matthew Thomas/Frostyfilm
Renaming the Read-Off Room
On June 2, 2017, a room was dedicated to Charlie that is now known as the "Charlie K Patrol Room."
Honor Chair Dedicated to Charlie
On 02/17/2016, Saving A Hero’s Place, Inc., an amazing group of people, delivered and presented Charlie's Honor Chair to the Tarpon Springs Police Department.
Officer Of The Year Award Now Named Officer Charlie K Award, 2016
Credit: Teresa Kondek
TSPD Adding Charlie's Name To Monument
Credit: TBO Pool Photo
Charlie's name was added to the memorial stone in front of the TSPD Building in June 2015.
In closing, this week marks one year since Tarpon Springs Police Officer Charles Kondek was killed in the line of duty. On the anniversary of Charles’ death, I spoke with his widow Teresa.
For the second Christmas in a row Teresa and her five children are spending the holiday without their hero. Her daughter Aleena shared her grief in a letter to her late father writing, “when it is Christmas morning and you wake up and you’re able to talk to your family, remember those who can’t. Remember the kids like us that had an amazing father who won’t be waking us up.”
Her sister Holly wrote, “I promise I’ll do everything I can to make you proud, as I am a symbol of who you were.”
Florida law enforcement officers are real people, with real lives and families. When they sacrifice their lives to protect us, they leave a void that can never be filled. Please keep the Kondek family, and all Florida law enforcement officers, in your thoughts and prayers this holiday season.
Country singer Cole Swindell honoring Charlie, March 11, 2016
Cole Swindell, 2016
After a meet and greet before his concert in Plant City, FL, Cole Swindell wore Charlie's bracelet and thanked our military, first responders, and Charlie's sacrifice before ending his show. I was a MESS that night.
Cole Swindell will always have our respect for that. For him to remember our two minute conversation then actually wear the bracelet we gave him was an absolute honor to see and we will NEVER forget that.
Badge #285 dedicated to Officer Charles Kondek, Jr., performed by Ms. Dakota
Ms. Dakota (daughter of my husband's Sergeant & his wife/talented former Radio City Rockette) blew me away by her grace & ability to not only pick this song but nail it with so much emotion. The song had words that I’ve heard my daughter’s say after Charlie was killed so it really hit home.