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Classmates, family, friends celebrate Acme accident victim's life

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Saturday, June 15, 2013, 1:46 a.m.

Fellow alumni, friends and family of the woman who died as a result of a vehicle crash are coming together to celebrate her life today.

The Connellsville Area High School Class of 2011 and friends of Catherine Healy will hold a celebration of life at 11 a.m. for family and friends at the Polish Falcon Club in Mt. Pleasant today, where a reception will follow from noon to 2 p.m.

Healy, 19, of Acme, died 13 hours after a one-vehicle crash at 4 a.m. June 9 on Ridge Boulevard in Dunbar Township. She was a passenger in the vehicle. The driver suffered minor injuries.

During today's service, speakers will include the Rev. Bob Lubic, Connellsville Area High School Assistant Principal Indy Lynn and Connellsville Area High School 2011 Class President Andrew Sparks. A letter will be read by a former teacher of Healy.

Members of the Connellsville Chamber Ensemble, of which Healy was a member, will sing a song, while others will read poems and a slide show of the celebration of life will be presented. The reception will follow so those attending can share memories of a remarkable woman.

“Cat was the most genuine person I'd say I ever met,” said Justin Teets, a fellow classmate of Healy and one of the organizers of the service. “If you had a bad day, you expect her to be there to lift you up. She was a very special girl.”

Sparks said Healy was bubbly, happy and always full of life in every aspect.

“Her smile and personality was infectious,” Sparks said. “She was just always so willing to help out in any way.”

Teets said the reason for the service was to have some kind of closure for those who were close to Healy, since it was announced there would be no funeral service and many are still affected by news of her death.

“There's a general feeling of disbelief,” Teets said.

Sparks said the outreach of people wanting to do something in some shape or form has been unbelievable and shows how much of an impact Healy had on those she knew well.

“The grieving is masked by people wanting to celebrate her life,” Sparks said.

The organizers of the service are asking those attending to not wear anything dark or black because it is a celebration of life.

They will also ask for donations. An effort had been made to first raise money for funeral expenses, but since there won't be a funeral service, organizers decided to continue to raise money for a memorial scholarship.

Anyone can visit the site and make a donation of whatever amount they please.

“There's been donations from $3 to $100,” Teets said, adding that people can also donate at West Side Jewelry. “People have been giving what they can.”

Teets said as of Friday, they were reaching the $2,000 mark and are still planning the details of the scholarship.

A memorial volleyball tournament is also in the works to raise money for the scholarship. Healy was known as a great volleyball player and was set to be the captain of the volleyball team at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, where she was heading into her junior year.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media.

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