GETZVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) - After Dr. James Corasanti began serving his year behind bars for misdemeanor DWI, friends and family of Alix Rice held a vigil on Heim Road in Getzville, where a makeshift memorial stands as silent witness to their pain for a young life lost.
Over a hundred candles lit in honor of Rice Thursday night represent a person who attended the vigil to pay their respects to the fallen teen.
Mark Callen, who organized the gathering, said, "We don't want to lose sight of celebrating Alix. And that is really what tonight's about."
Some at the vigil didn't even know Rice. Friends say it is a testament to how she was in life, able to make friends with anyone wherever she went.
"She had something so special about her. She made a different in the world," said Coby Robinson.
Ashley Glomb said, "She definitely has that spirit. When I look at all of this here, all of the bright colors, and when I look at this shirt with her face on it, I feel that."
Most remember Rice for her kind heart and her headstrong personality.
Sandra Schlecht said, "Just full of life. Real fun. Always had a smile on her face."
"Whenever someone was in their time of need, whenever someone was upset or maybe fell in the school hallway or something, she would always be the first one right there to pick them back up," Robinson said.
Mike Wilkowski added, "Just sitting around for the talent show and I see this freshmen, and it's her, running around with the wrestling team in the halls. And I'm looking and I'm like, 'What is she doing?!' And everyone's like, 'No, don't worry. It's what she does.'"
In the same way the spot on Heim Road has turned from accident scene to memorial, the grief that once seemed thick and oppressive in the air is slowly dissappating, leaving a sense of peace.
Robinson said, "I know she's up there right now, smiling down. She's up there looking at all of us here and she's so happy that we're here."
Each candle lit Thursday night was purchased by an attendee for $5. The money collected will go towards a skate park, to be built in Rice's honor.
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