A 22-year-old woman who was a community activist in the Hudson Valley has died after battling a flu virus.
Newburgh resident Rebekah Grohl, an outspoken activist who was the campaign manager for Orange County Legislator Kevindaryan Lujan and volunteered on the campaigns of Sen. James Skoufis and Congressman Antonio Delgado, died on Sunday, Jan. 5 after being diagnosed with the flu last week.
Lujan took to Facebook to remember Grohl, calling her “courageous, fierce, loving, compassionate and truly powerful.”
“Her light was unlike any other I have ever seen,” he said. “She inspired people to care about their community and to help them find their voice. At 22 years old she had knocked on more doors than people three times her age will ever do in a lifetime. She cared deeply about her community and was dedicated to seeing it change for the better.
“She leaves this world as she lived it. Committed to helping others. Donating her organs to help others see and live fuller lives.”
Lujan added, that Grohl, “was a force to be reckoned with. Her legacy the constant reminder that we can and must do better. That we can dream for a better world. And that you start one block at a time, one park, one person at a time. That we must be the change, we would like to see in communities. She inspired that love in everything she did and everyone she met.”
Grohl graduated from Newburgh Free Academy and had an associate’s degree from SUNY Orange.
"Newburgh had Rebekah's heart she was at every event she breathed and lived for this city," former Newburgh City Council candidate Steven Majano posted on social media. "It's a loss that we will feel for an entire generation. She was a leader in the community and was going to lead us in the future. She had a bright future and she was dedicated to helping each individual person that she could."
Following her death, a GoFundMe fundraising campaign was set up to “honor the life and memory of our dear friend, Rebekah Grohl.”
“Rebekah took up a fight that was larger than her, larger than all of us. She inspired so many to find the best in themselves,” organizers wrote. “To love, to care, and to be the change they wish to see in the world. She did not just talk about empathy...she lived it and practiced it every day. She was so many things to so many people. Daughter, sister, partner, friend, ally, and advocate. She was our champion...the best of us. Our reminder of the pure good that exists in the world.”
Those interested in donating to the GoFundMe campaign can do so here.
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