TARPON SPRINGS, Fla.-- The widow and family of a fallen Tarpon Springs Police officer are honoring his life by helping save others.

  • Fallen officer's family hosts memorial blood drive
  • Hope this will be 4th of July tradition, also Officer Kondek's birthday
  • Family encourages everyone to donate blood and help save a life

On Wednesday, they hosted the first "Officer Charles Kondek Memorial Blood Drive."

July 4 is Kondek's birthday. His wife, Teresa Kondek, remembers all of the special celebrations.

"We had a surprise 40th for him that was pretty big and we did go on a cruise for another birthday, but all of his birthdays were big," Kondek said.

Kondek was shot and killed in the line of duty in 2014. It was a tragic loss no family should ever have to suffer.

"We obviously have a hard time with his birthday now, so we wanted something positive and something to honor his life," Teresa said.

Community members, loved ones and fellow officers lined up Wednesday to give blood and give back.

"I'm just so thankful for the Tarpon Springs Police Department and all the community and even people out of this community for coming here and showing support  for our family," Kondek's daughter, Aleena Kondek, said.

The family hopes to make the blood drive a tradition that they hope Kondek would be proud of, a Fourth of July honor for a hero whose legacy will never be forgotten.

"It's something we can finally go to that doesn't have to be so sad," Teresa said.

If you couldn't attend Wednesday's blood drive, the family encourages everyone to donate and help save a life. Click here for more information or call 1-888-9-DONATE.