WILSON, NY (WKBW) Hundreds of yellow ribbons, Sarah Johnson's favorite color, line the soccer field fence in Wilson, where a memorial service of healing and remembrance was held Saturday afternoon in her honor.
Nearly 800 people, out of a community of only twelve hundred, came out to show their support for a grieving family and remember a young life cut tragically short after last Tuesday's house explosion.
"This is never going to go away, but you are going to be able to get through it. You will begin thinking about Sarah would've graduated today, Sarah would've been engaged today, Sarah may have gotten married today. Those are things you look at and see but it never goes away" the family's pastor and spokesman Bill Lowery said.
One of Sarah's best friends, Zipporah Barrett, spoke about her kindness, her compassion, and her love of cooking. Barrett says thinking about Sarah brings out a wide range of emotions
"Happy and sad. Happy that the community can come together and do this but sad because I'm really going to miss her," she said.
And as the family continues to deal with the loss of their daughter, their home, and all their possessions, the support from the community continues to roll in.
"This is just the most amazing community I have ever seen. There is such an outpouring of love and support for the Johnson family," Helene Petrakis, one of many holding fundraisers for the family, said at the service.
Sarah's track coach, Jaime Lepsch, has even planned a benefit 5k run, nicknamed the "Iwacko" run after the teen's comical Youtube videos she recorded for fun.
"I keep telling the kids on the track team that Sarah will always be there running with them. She loved to run. So the I-wacko run, I run for Sarah, that's how we're going to promote it. I run for Sarah," Lepsch said.
Only one member of the Johnson family remains at the hospital. Katie Johnson remains in critical condition at ECMC's burn unit.
If you want to help support the Johnson family or register for the 5K race, click here: http://wilsonfbc.org/johnsonfamily.php