Vigil held for teen who drowned at Spring Lake beach

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Friends and family held a candlelight vigil Thursday for a New Jersey teen who drowned at a Spring Lake beach over the Labor Day weekend.

Mourners arrived a few hours early to prepare a gazebo – the site of the memorial for 15-year-old Josiah Jeremiah Robison. They say that the community is devastated by what happened to the teen.

The vigil featured songs and prayers. Robison's family members, including his grandmother, Linda, were in attendance. Local residents say that Linda sat on a beach at the gazebo while lifeguards searched for her grandson. Residents stopped by to support her during that time.

"We pray for his grandmother Linda, we thank you for the ways that she comforted us, even as we came to comfort and console her,” said Pastor Joe Gratzel.

RELATED: Authorities: Body of missing teenage swimmer found on beach 
Recovery operation underway for teen missing in waters off Spring Lake 

Locals brought cards and presents to support the Robison family. Kim Troy lives nearby and helped set up the vigil.

“Really, I’m proud to be part of this community,” she says.

So many people attended the vigil that many had to stand on the beach near the gazebo. Pastor Gratzel acknowledged the grief with which Robison's mother is now living.

“We cannot, those of us who are parents, imagine the depth of loss that she is experiencing,” he said. “We have all held our children and grandchildren a little tighter this week.”

Gratzel said that Robison's grandmother asked him to tell everyone there that she thanks them from the bottom of her heart for showing such true support during this terribly tough time

A Wells Fargo account has been set up for the family. Anyone who would like to contribute can go to any Wells Fargo branch and mention the account title: "Josiah Jeremiah Robison/Linda Robison"

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