Wednesday, May 23, 2018
News Roundup

Family gives year-round to Pasco child protective investigations unit

NEW PORT RICHEY — Olivia Georgi is 12 years old. She is willowy with long, dark blond hair and sincere brown eyes. When she's complimented she looks down, bashful, and smiles. Olivia doesn't remember a time when she wasn't working to help children less fortunate than her. It's just a part of her and she constantly looks for items that can be saved, repaired and donated; broken bikes on the curb, lost and found items at schools.

Once she has accumulated enough items, she and her parents take them to the Pasco County Sheriff's child protective investigations unit in New Port Richey.

On Wednesday, Olivia will receive the Pasco Sheriff's Office Citizen's Service Award for her work. She said she's flattered by the award. She said she does this "because it makes me feel good."

Helping other people is in her genes. Her parents, Janet and Otto Georgi, have volunteered for neighborhood and river cleanups for decades. Olivia's first river cleanup was when she was 10 days old, her parents say. Janet, 48, and Otto, 70, both worked for Pasco County, she in computers, he as an environmental engineer. So they were familiar with the Sheriff's Office and its CPI unit. Their donations began when Olivia was 5 years old and she had an overload of stuffed animals.

"I told her, 'Keep the ones you want to keep, the ones you really love,'" Janet said. " 'The other ones we will give to the Sheriff's Office.' "

That began the giving. The family clips coupons and buys extra food on sale to donate. Janet saves free makeup samples to give. There is a Chili's restaurant that gives them free packages of crayons. Publix lets them take stacks of free coloring books. Otto has fixed three broken bicycles and donated them.

They have no idea how much they've given during the years.

"Oh, wow," Janet said, when asked.

"Lots," Otto said.

"Wow," Janet said.

They usually bring several trash bags full of items every six to eight weeks. They get the unclaimed lost and found items at Cypress Elementary and River Ridge Middle, where Olivia is in the sixth grade. She hopes to expand the process and get items from other schools.

"Thank you for everything you have been doing for our agency," CPI unit director Ken Kilian said to Olivia on Wednesday when she and her parents dropped off another bike and several bags of food, sundries, toys and clothes. Kilian spoke to the Georgi family.

"You have helped lots of families," he said.

More than 1,500 children filter in and out of this office each year. Sometimes the children have just been removed from a home and they are there, scared, confused, waiting for another relative or foster care to pick them up.

"We want to make their stay as comfortable and warm as possible," Kilian said.

Sometimes, these children are entering a new part of their lives with nothing but the clothes they are wearing. Kilian said he always wants children to leave the office with something, so wherever they go, they will have something — a stuffed animal, a ball, a book — that is their own.

Olivia said she's excited about the awards ceremony. She already has her outfit picked; a blue dress and ballet flats. She hopes to be a doctor one day.

"I like helping people," she said.

Erin Sullivan can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6229.

Comments

Sinkhole opens up near Bayfront Health’s Brooksville hospital

BROOKSVILLE — A large sinkhole opened up by Bayfront Health Brooksville hospital in a water retention pond between State Road 50 and the hospital’s parking lot, according to a hospital spokeswoman.The sinkhole poses no threat to hospital buildings, e...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Hillsborough teachers hope to get some, but not all of their raise money

Hillsborough teachers hope to get some, but not all of their raise money

TAMPA — Teachers in Hillsborough County came closer on Wednesday to reaching an agreement with the school district that would give them most, but not all of the pay they expected this past year.The deal, if it happens, will end a year-long conflict t...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
USF posts (mostly) solid APR marks

USF posts (mostly) solid APR marks

For the third consecutive year, all 16 USF sports programs posted Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores of 952 or better, well above the NCAA's minimum standard.But its two most prominent sports showed mild decreases.The 2016-17 APR scores (rolling fou...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Son tells NC police he found dog leash around neck of strangled Hillsborough developer Bill Bishop

Son tells NC police he found dog leash around neck of strangled Hillsborough developer Bill Bishop

After a prominent Hillsborough County developer died last month in North Carolina, word spread it was a heart attack that claimed his life.But records from that state show the death of William "Bill" Bishop was much more complicated.His 16-year-old s...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Three arrested for street racing after mother fatally struck pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard

Three arrested for street racing after mother fatally struck pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard

TAMPA — An Ohio mother was struck by a speeding car and killed Wednesday while pushing a stroller across Bayshore Boulevard and her 21-month-old daughter was seriously injured, Tampa police said.The two were hit by a northbound car around 11:43 a.m. ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
State softball: Land O’Lakes advances to second straight title game

State softball: Land O’Lakes advances to second straight title game

VERO BEACH — Land O'Lakes had just finished a hard-fought 5-0 victory over Clay in the Class 6A state semifinal. Callie Turner threw a no-hitter. Jolene Bodner had a two-run single.The win was big, clinching the Gators' second straight champion...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Eckerd College student critically injured in campus accident just before graduation

Eckerd College student critically injured in campus accident just before graduation

ST. PETERSBURG — An Eckerd College student fell from a ladder on campus in the hours before her graduation ceremony and remained hospitalized Wednesday with head injuries.Chicago native Rebecca Ryan Lavin-Burgher, known as Becca on campus and RyRy to...
Updated: 1 hour ago
State baseball: Carrollwood Day comes up a run short in semifinals

State baseball: Carrollwood Day comes up a run short in semifinals

FORT MYERS — One swing.That's all it took for Carrollwood Day's historic season to come to an end.With two outs and two runners on in the third inning of the Class 3A state semifinal against Tallahassee North Florida Christian, Patriots starter...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa charter review board recommendations go to City Council

Tampa charter review board recommendations go to City Council

TAMPA —After nine months of meetings, Tampa’s first City Charter review commission has delivered its recommendations.It’s a modest wish list but an important start, commissioners said in advance of today’s City Council workshop.Mostly, the commission...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Region baseball: Plant’s state bid falters in ninth inning

TAMPA — Sarasota outlasted Plant 2-0 in a nine-inning Class 8A region final on Wednesday to advance to next week's state tournament in Fort Myers.The Sailors will play Strawberry Crest on June 1 at 10 a.m.Scoreless through eight innings Wednesd...
Updated: 2 hours ago