PARKERSBURG- Those who knew a Vienna girl who passed away unexpectedly want to keep her memory alive through a memorial fund being set up.
Friends are collecting money in memory of Marissa Elise Miller, 12, of Vienna, who died unexpectedly on Sept. 5 while at soccer practice. She was a seventh-grade student at Jackson Middle School.
Miller was the daughter of Dr. Kenneth and Dr. Lisa Glorioso Miller.
The fund, the Marissa E. Miller Memorial Fund, is being organized by family friend Andrea McDonnell with help from officials with Club Ohio Soccer.
McDonnell's daughter Sarah was a good friend of Miller.
''They have been friends for a long time,'' McDonnell said. ''(Marissa) was a big part of our family and we loved her very much.''
Donations are being collected by the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and put in a fund until Miller's family decides what it wants the money to go toward.
"Our whole community is always deeply saddened whenever we have a tragic loss such as has occurred in this situation and people want to reach out to do something to honor the memory of their loved one,''said Judy Sjostedt, PACF executive director. ''In this case, we were contacted by friends of the family who indicated that they would like to work on a memorial fund for Marissa.
''She was such a bright and lovely young lady and they want to do something to honor and cherish her memory.''
''At a later date, we will work with Marissa's family and friends as they determine what type of memorial is most suited for Marissa,'' Sjostedt said. ''It may be a memorial fund that makes a distribution each year to support things that were special to Marissa, like her sports activty groups or animal welfare, or it may be a scholarship.
''That will be up to the family to help determine at a later date. Right now things are just getting started," she said.
People interested in supporting Marissa's memorial fund can mail gifts to the Marissa E. Miller Memorial Fund, c/o PACF, P.O. Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26102-1762.
''We want to do all we can to keep the memory of this special girl alive,'' McDonnell said. ''She was a fantastic kid.''