An Orangevale teen who drowned in the American River in Folsom earlier this month was laid to rest on Thursday.
Friends, classmates and teachers of 14-year-old Micheal Powell turned out to say goodbye.
As she reflects on the many who have paid their respects, Joy Cox says she had no idea how many people had a connection with her nephew. But what really came as a shock to her are the faces int he crowd that had absolutely no connection to Micheal, but still pulled out all the stops to put together a funeral for him.
When news broke that the Orangevale boy was swept away after jumping into the American River in Folsom, an online community of Folsom residents committed to finding his family and offering any help they could. That effort turned into complete strangers paying for and planning Micheal's memorial and supporting his family with daily meals at their home.
Beyond the gratitude and the mourning, people who turned out for the memorial on Thursday are united by a mission in Micheal's memory. His school will be teaching about the importance of life jackets and parental supervision in the water.
Folsom residents also hope to set up a life jacket stand at Negro Bar where Micheal died with a memorial to him there as well.