Family and friends gather to remember Schoharie crash victim

October 17, 2018 11:22 PM

ALBANY - "She leaves behind a legacy that many could only dream of." That's what family members and colleagues of Amanda Rivenburg said at a vigil for her on Wednesday night.

Amanda worked in the Day Services Program with Living Resources in Albany.

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She was one of the 20 people killed in the Schoharie limo crash.

Amanda was only 29 years old, but she was instrumental in expanding the Day Services Program to three additional counties and adding about 170 participants.

"She touched a lot of lives in her short 29 years, a lot of lives,” Amanda’s mother Donna Rivenburg said.

Amanda began working at Living Resources as a direct care staff member. In her 7 years with the company Amanda was promoted four times, quickly rising to Assistant Director of the Day Services Program.

"It was her life, she loved her coworkers, she loved the consumers it was the perfect job for her. She was caring, giving and she just loved it,” Rivenburg said.

Day Services Program Director Frank Prevratil said he knew Amanda would be a good fit from the start.

"Amanda was just so easy to get along with and she when she was around these participants, the people she served she lit up,” Prevratil said.

Of course, Amanda had a profound effect on her colleagues as well.

“I have a disability called Asperger's I was trying to make it as an employee of Living Resources,” Jesse Sapperstein said. “She was always so kind when I made a mistake. It was always the slate was wiped clean, she would always say it in the most ginger, saccharine, sweetest fashion."

"It feels like a family loss, because it is and it's been very hard for us and for the individuals that we serve in our program but we're all just banding together and keep moving and we do lean on each other and that's why we’re here,” Marissa Urkevick said.

As they continue to grieve, Amanda's family at Living Resources is doing whatever they can to honor her legacy.

"The loss of Amanda is just immense but what she has left us all with something that we're going to be able to build upon and we're going to be able to carry with us forever,” Prevratil said.

Living Resources has created the "Amanda Rivenburg Phoenix Award" in her honor. It will be presented to a staff members who prove to be a rising stars just like Amanda.

Amanda was supposed to present awards to program participants in a ceremony this Friday. Her colleagues said they're still going to have the ceremony, because that's what Amanda would've wanted them to do.

MORE INFORMATION: Amanda Rivenburg "Phoenix" Rising Star Award


Emily Burkhard

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