Heartfelt vigil recalls Irondequoit teen

April 13, 2017 11:25 PM

Friends, neighbors and strangers gathered Thursday night for a candlelight vigil in memory of Irondequoit High School student Michael Lynch and in support of his family.

"We're keeping the positive energy flowing," explained Barry Lamendola, father of a classmate of Michael’s who turned out for the vigil at Irondequoit’s I-Square, "were thinking about them and we love them and we are saying prayers for them."

The 14-year-old Michael died Thursday afternoon after two weeks on life support following a car accident. He was hit by a car while walking to Irondequoit High.

"Everyone's been really sad and everyone has just been praying for Michael," said 8th grader Lauren Day who wore a green ribbon in support of Michael’s family during her afternoon lacrosse game before the vigil. "It's an important thing and we have to be there for each other during tough times."

Friends remembered Michael as an always friendly and welcoming jokester who enjoyed music and stage performances. "It's not going to be the same, going back to the theater,” said Maya Davis, a friend. “Going to be really hard for everyone. But, he would want us to be happy. He would want us to remember him as the happy class clown that he was,"

The accident that killed Michael remained under investigation by police, a factor that placed Irondequoit Police Chief Richard Tantalo in a wrenching double role of town official, but also a father, as he pinned a green ribbon to his uniform.

"My son and this young man go to school together,” Tantalo said. “They played T-ball together. We like to say that maybe Irondequoit is a big town but it's really a small town community."

As the people at the vigil lit candles, organizer Jessica Aponte played the hymn “On Eagles Wings” and read a poem devoted to Michael Lynch.

"God made a sweet child, sweet child who never grew old," she read, then continued, "he wrapped Michael and his arms and said ‘you, my child, I keep’  …for now, our sweet Michael is free of pain. We will cry many tears, miss him dearly and always carry him wherever we go."

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Charles Molineaux

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