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Slain officer's widow starts foundation to connect police and community

TAMPA — The wife of slain Tampa police Officer David Curtis has launched a foundation to connect local residents with law enforcement.

After Kelly Curtis' husband was shot to death June 29, the community rallied around her, donating tens of thousands of dollars to her and widow Sara Kocab, whose husband, Jeffrey, was killed in the same incident.

In an e-mail explaining her hopes for her foundation, Curtis wrote: "My wish is for the community to be able to show the officers how much they appreciate them now, while they are alive, instead of after something tragic happens."

Her foundation — which has not been named — will be the vehicle for accomplishing that. She wants to raise money to send officers and their families on fun outings, such as theme parks.

She also plans to host events where officers and residents can come together. She is tentatively planning for a chili cookoff, said foundation spokeswoman Christie Artura-Klammer.

"She wants to bridge that gap, so people get a true understanding of what these uniformed officers do on a day-to-day basis," Artura-Klammer said.

Kelly Curtis isn't ready to talk publicly about her foundation yet, Artura-Klammer said, but plans to say a few words at a fundraiser dinner Wednesday.

The Celebration for Courage dinner is being put on by a group of bay area professionals who recently formed the Tampa Fallen Heroes Fund to raise money for law enforcement.

The proceeds will be split between Curtis' foundation and the Tampa Police Department's memorial fund.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3433.

If you go

What: Celebration of Courage fundraising dinner.

When: 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, at the Doubletree Hotel, 4500 W Cypress St.

For event details or to buy tickets, visit tpafallenheroes.org.

Slain officer's widow starts foundation to connect police and community 10/14/10 [Last modified: Thursday, October 14, 2010 10:55pm]
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