Members of CTX community remember 4-year-old victim of houseboat tragedy

Posted at 10:06 PM, Jun 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-27 17:31:45-04

The family of 4-year-old Kaitlyn Oliver, who died in a tragic houseboating accident on Friday, is talking about how they want her to be remembered.

Arrangements for a public visitation have also been made. The visitation will be held on Thursday, June 29 from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. at Temple Bible Church.

Christine Alfonso, Kaitlyn's great aunt, said Kaitlyn was a girly girl who loved Frozen and singing "Let It Go."

"She could sing the entire song at four by herself. And she would put her little princess dress on and she would have her doll," Alfonso said. "I really think Kaitlin was destined to be an actress. She was always just so drama, emotion and everything was just so over the top."

Kaitlyn's father, Patrick Oliver, who tried to save her, was in serious condition Monday night after having three surgeries. He lost both of his legs trying to save his daughter.

Alfonso said when he woke up in the hospital on Saturday, the first thing he asked about was Kaitlyn.

"He said I'm sorry I tried to save her, I tried to save her until the propellers got me. And then I couldn't do anymore," Alfonso said.

Alfonso said Patrick will likely have more surgeries in the near future. She thanked the local Central Texas community for helping and supporting the family through this difficult time. 

One member of the community, Kristy Burnett, knew she had to help the Oliver family.

"It made me sick to my stomach and I thought that could have been my child," Burnett said.

With that thought in mind, she partnered with Johnny Sohns to do just that.

"You know I grew up on the lake right there on ski alley just about 3 or 4 miles from where this happened so it hits really close to home and this is what I'm very good at so I figure if there is any way I can give back or anything like that this is the way I can do it," Sohns said.

So he started making calls and now on July 29...

"We're going to have a cool band, a bunch of bands, live music all day long, we're going to float the river and have a good time," Sohns said.

Sohns and Burnett are teaming up with businesses like the Gin in Belton to raise money for the Oliver family.

"So on the day of the specific fundraiser we will be donating a portion of our sales to go to help the families in need and everybody that this has affected," Event Director, Karla King said.

In the mean time ... the Gin is hoping to help in any way they can.

"If they need anything at all even if they are too tired to cook reach out to us we can do whatever we can to help them. If they are hungry stop by. I'm going to do anything I can in my power and as the gin in our power. We're going to do everything we can to help out," King added.

Although Burnett is hoping the event raises money, they have one other goal in mind.

"The thing we want at the end of the day is peace and healing for the family," Burnett said.

For updates on the Event head to the Gin's Facebook Page.

If you'd like to help the family beyond attending the event, you can donate items for the benefit to auction off or money on their Gofundme page.

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