Updated 07/23/2012 09:00 AM
Memorial vigil teen murder victims
A community comes together not just in grief, but with the desire to help the families of two teenagers who were killed in the Town of Florida. Our Maria Valvanis has more from Amsterdam.
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AMSTERDAM, N.Y. -- Whether or not you knew 16-year-old Paul Damphier or 13-year-old Jonathan DeJesus personally didn't matter Sunday. Familiar faces and some unfamiliar ones were coming together with one common goal.
“I just want to raise money and support the families any way possible so that Jonathan and Pauly can be laid to rest,” said Crystal Rivera, walk organizer.
Crystal Rivera and her mother, Iris, organized a walk-a-thon to do just that. Participants were asked to bring a dollar donation to help alleviate the costs of two funerals that no one expected to have.
"We just want it to be beautiful," said Joe Tiano, DeJesus’ uncle.
"He would be happy to see has some true friends a lot of people love him,” said Nicole Damphier, Paul Damphier’s sister.
DeJesus and Damphier were killed on July 9th. Their classmates, 16-year-old Anthony Brasmeister and 15-year-old Matthew Phelps have been charged with the murders.
Happy memories of the teens were remembered during the walk, which ended at the riverfront park with a balloon send off.
Local stores are also helping to raise money for the teens. Family members say the community’s support leaves them speechless.