WILSON, N.Y. (WIVB) - Less than two weeks after the deadly home explosion in Wilson, friends and family gathered for a massive memorial honoring Sarah Johnson, the 14-year-old who did not survive the blast.
Sarah was a girl so full of life, it's hard for those who loved her to accept she's no longer living.
Her track coach, Jaime Lupsch, said, "It's just overwhelming. That's the biggest thing. It's very hard."
Close to a thousand friends and family of Sarah Johnson gathered on the Wilson soccer fields to honor the teen in a memorial service. They shared memories and the things that made Sarah who she was.
"She was a true leader," Lupsch said. "Her hard work, dedication, perseverance. Her ability to appreciate life. She lived life to the fullest, I think."
Sarah recorded videos she called "iWacko" with her friends, including best friend Zipporah Barrett. She was a girl known for wearing bright colors, sometimes only matching her personality. And she was a girl who didn't judge.
"She was really accepting of everyone. She was nice and kind to everyone. And I just loved that trait about her. She was just so accepting and no one had to change for her," recalled one friend.
At the service, Sarah's name was spelled out in yellow ribbons: her favorite color. Just another gesture to honor the girl who will forever remain in their hearts.
The community is standing together to help the Johnson family. While the memorial was going on, so was a fundraiser in Clarence Center. The owner of "The Perfect Gift" store held a Vera Bradley tent sale with 100 percent of proceeds benefiting the Johnsons. Children who attended also made "We Care" cards to express their support for the family.
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