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Remembering Danielle Downey
ROCHESTER, N.Y. Many in the community are saddened by the death of the former LPGA pro golfer, Danielle Downey, who grew up in Spencerport.
Police say Downey died in a crash Thursday night when she lost control of her car in Auburn, AL.
She did a lot of things for me through my life, so I don't feel like I thanked her enough for all the things that she did for me, said John Hoecker, Brook-Lea Country Club Head Golf Pro.
Hoecker was Downeys golf instructor who knew the three-time All-American since she was ten.
He says Downeys name is forever engrained on a womens championship plaque at Brook-Lea Country Club.
"Her name will never die here, he said. It'll always be part of the history of the club. For many of us that have been here this whole time, we watched her grow up and to know somebody that special is something that doesn't go away."
Downey was only 33, but a role model to many young female golfers.
She really mentored a lot of the young girls in the area, said Christy Schultz who grew up playing golf with Downey.
Schultz says there werent as many opportunities for girls when they first started playing, which is why Downey created an annual Future of Women's Golf Tournament.
"We did this Pro Am year after year where Danielle would get some LPGA professionals to come in and get the high school girls to play alongside the professionals, said Schultz.
Downey was also a mentor to the Auburn University golf program where she was the Director of Operations the past two years.
Im absolutely devastated, Auburn head womens golf coach Kim Evans said. Danielle meant so much to me, the girls and this program. Not only did she give much of her life to Auburn as a student-athlete and as a mentor to these young women, but she was so instrumental to this team during some tough times over the past year. Danielle was like a daughter to me.
The University said Downey stepped in for the head coach who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer during the postseason, and led the team to nationals placing sixth at the NCAAs.
"She impacted a lot of lives, including mine, said Schultz. I'll miss her.
Her close friends say she loved her three sisters, nephew and nieces, and parents very much.
The Downey Family gave 13WHAM this statement:
"We want to thank everyone for their outpouring of love and prayers during this difficult time. We are thankful for all of the friends she has made along the way and all the kind words that have been written about her. We would like to thank all the people that have supported her throughout her short life. Our family will never be the same and she will forever be missed."