Mini Nikki was what they called her. Her heart was anything but.
More than 100 people gathered in the Paramus Catholic auditorium Wednesday night to honor 17-year-old Nicole Minson, who died Feb. 16 after battling cancer.
School officials, dance team members and Nikki's family remembered her fondly with tears in their eyes.
"Nikki had a larger heart than everyone here today," Principal Stephanie Macaluso said to the audience.
"She showed us courage, faith and beauty."
Her brother, Frank Minson, encouraged the community to support each other through the heartache as his mother and father, Edward and Nancy Minson, wiped their eyes in the front row.
Photos of Nikki played to music on a projector screen on stage before the dance team performed a number in her honor.
Dancer Francine said Nikki was selfless and a bright light. She recalled how Nikki would do her teammates' makeup before her own.
"She was the sister we always wanted," she said. "I will always be dancing for you."
Right before the lights came on, the audience cracked their yellow glow sticks -- shining bright for Nikki.
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