Family and friends in Petaluma were rallying around the family of a 19-year old woman who died in frigid conditions at Lake Tahoe New Year's Eve and are raising funds to help families of missing children.
Many people gathered Saturday at the Beyond the Glory sports bar to honor Alyssa Byrne.
Guests walking in were greeted by a picture of the smiling face of 19-year Byrne.
The Petaluma native died in South Lake Tahoe this week after leaving a New Year's Eve music festival.
On Saturday the restaurant hosted a fundraiser in her honor.
"We came here for the fundraiser, and we were at the candlelight vigil last night also," said Sherry Fink, Byrne's a teacher at Byrne's former high school.
Byrne's father and brother were at the bar for part of the day.
"Alyssa touched the hearts of so many people," said Alyssa's father Kevin Byrne. "She was one of the most energetic people I've ever known in my entire life."
Byrne's two best friends were also at the bar eating dinner.
"She'd always come into our classrooms no matter whether she was part of our class or not part of our class," said Alyssa's best friend Wayne Ritz. "And she was always laughing. That was the greatest thing. She was always laughing and having a good time."
"She was the funniest person I think I've ever known," said Claire Langley. "She'd always try to make you laugh when anyone was upset."
On the wall were photos of Byrne on her Little League baseball team.
"She was a ball of energy," said Kevin Byrne. "A ball of life and she will be missed by us every day."
Byrne aspired to be a firefighter-paramedic. Members of Calfire dropped by with a gift Saturday
"We wanted to give her a memento, a patch like ours to kind of say welcome to the firefighter family," said Brion Borba, of Calfire.
The funds raised will go to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Plans for Byrne's funeral are still pending.
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