CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Two local school communities are mourning the loss of a high school senior who drowned while swimming on vacation in Florida. Danielle Marceline died just before what would have been her 18th birthday.
Christine Marceline said the Florida trip with Danielle was supposed to be the best time of her daughter’s life, a sort of celebration of her senior year of high school. Unfortunately, while swimming in the ocean, the water overcame Danielle.
Christine said while the ocean pushed her friend, who survived, toward the shore, Danielle was engulfed, and drowned.
Danielle had a big heart, according to her mother, who wants to thank members of the community for their support.
Regina Hunter and her daughter Zoe grew up as close neighbors with Danielle and her family. The Hunters created a GoFundMe to help raise money for the Marceline’s memorial costs. By Monday afternoon, $26,585 were raised of the $17,000 goal.
“The last thing they’re thinking about is what they’re going to need coming up, and I kind of wanted to take that off of their chest,” Regina said. “The community’s response has been unbelievable.”
Danielle was a volleyball player, a dancer, and wanted to study interior design in college. Before transferring to Catholic Central, she was a student in the Lansingburgh district.
In a statement, Lansingburgh Superintendent Dr. Antonio Abitabile said in part, “in speaking to some of her teachers, she was an absolute pleasure to have in class, bringing smiles to those around her.”
Christine described her daughter as kind, but a bit reserved. Regina remembers her the same way.
“She was a quiet girl, and very sweet girl. Once you got to know her, you got to see how goofy she was,” Regina said.
Both Lansingburgh and Catholic Central are offering counseling and support services to students grieving the sudden loss of their classmate.
“In the coming days we’re going to be watching our student body very closely to see what their needs are, see what we can do to help them, and to have the supports necessary as needed,” said Ritch Herrigan, an interim high school administrator for Catholic Central School.
Catholic Central held a prayer service for Danielle Monday morning.
“We are going to be holding remembrances for her during our basketball games being held at home this week, and will be looking at a number of other items to honor Danielle as a member of the class of 2023,” Herrigan added.
“Undoubtedly, this is a tragedy that impacts every member of the school community and we join the family in mourning,” said Dr. Giovanni Virgiglio, Superintendent of Schools for the Albany Diocese. “We ask that all join us in enfolding Dani’s family and friends in prayer during this difficult time.”
There are no details yet on funeral services. Christine said, for now, everyone can honor Danielle’s memory by being kind to one another and sticking up for the underdog, something she says her daughter always did.
Cocoa Beach Police in Brevard County, Florida, report they are investigating the drowning.