St. Petersburg businesses and groups organize fundraising efforts for families of fallen officers

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Various local efforts are being organized in St. Petersburg to honor and assist the families of two slain police officers. These are just some of the ways the public can participate or contribute:

1. The Police Benevolent Association is rolling out T-shirts to honor Sgt. Thomas J. Baitinger and Officer Jeffrey A. Yaslowitz. Suncoast Law Enforcement Charities, part of the PBA, is having T-shirts printed to raise funds for the families. The St. Petersburg officers’ T-shirt will sell for $15. A limited number of T-shirts will be available Thursday evening at St. Petersburg Police headquarters, 1300 First Ave. N. They also will be sold on Saturday at Quaker Steak and Lube, 10400 49th St. N., and beginning Monday, at PBA offices, 14141 46th St. N. Clearwater, Fla.

2. Blood Drive in Honor of the Fallen: Saturday, January 29, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jim’s Harley-Davidson, 2805 54th Ave. N., is hosting a Blood Drive in honor of the St. Pete Police Officers killed earlier this week. This has caused the Bayfront Medical Center to order 18 additional units of Type O negative blood. Since this has drained what already were low reserves at Florida Blood Services’ main distribution depot, FBS is low in all blood types and could use your help. Jim’s Harley-Davidson is giving every customer who gives blood a one-time 15% off your entire purchase coupon (*Not valid on motorcycles and labor). Thank you in advance for your help! Jim’s HD: 727-527-9672.

3. A fundraiser for families of the slain officers will be Monday, January 31, 5 to 8 p.m., at Fresco’s Waterfront Bistro, 300 Second Ave. N.E. in St. Petersburg. 727-894-4429. Live music, free hors d’oeuvres, drink specials, door prizes, live and silent auction (gift certificates and items already donated from Rays, American Stage, Dali Museum, Renaissance Vinoy Resort, and countless local establishments). $25 donation. Proceeds will be donated through Suncoast Law Enforcement PBA Charities and Wachovia Bank in the name of Suncoast Law Enforcement PBA Charities/Baitinger/Yaslowitz.

4. Starting Thursday, January 27 through Saturday, January 29, CrowdSavings.com, a site offering daily deals discounted 50-90%, will offer consumers the ability to purchase $5 in credit for just $1 redeemable for any future deal. CrowdSavings.com will even be covering credit card fees so every dollar earned will be donated.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.