CELEBRATION GROVE Memorial trees still available for purchase

A Fitch senior was honored for starting a youth basketball league.
AUSTINTOWN -- For several more months, people will have an opportunity to do something for a loved one while adding greenery to Austintown Township Park.
At Monday's trustee meeting, Gary Reel, a member of the Austintown Rotary Club, presented a schematic outlining what a completed Celebration Grove of Austintown will look like. The grove will feature 100 red maple, river birch and flowering pear trees planted in a section of the park near Kirk Road.
Reel noted that the trees can be planted as a tribute to a loved one or friend. They can also symbolize the memory of a person who died or can be dedicated to family members, he said.
The trees can be given as gifts for Christmas, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, the birth of a child and other special occasions and holidays.
The $185 cost per tree includes having it professionally planted and maintained with a two-year guarantee, Reel noted. The price also includes a permanent marker on which people can list who the tree is dedicated to and the reason for the dedication, he continued.
Planting should get under way in two to three weeks, Trustee Lisa Oles said. So far, about 74 trees have been sold, she added.
Pear and birch trees will be planted this spring; maples will be planted next fall.
To buy a tree, send a completed order form and check made out to the Austintown Rotary Club to Celebration Grove of Austintown, 5352 Nashua Drive, Austintown 44515. For more information, call Reel at (330) 533-7712.
Also at the meeting
In other business, Oles presented a proclamation to Michael Shane, an Austintown Fitch High School senior. Shane was recognized for a variety of accomplishments such as starting a youth intramural basketball league for pupils in grades 3-6. The 15 teams have about 10 kids each and provide an incentive for them to play later while benefiting the school, Shane said.
Shane also was honored for his work as a sportscaster on Cable Channel 19, being president of his school's Interact Club and for starting a paintball club at the school. Shane, a manager at a Taco Bell restaurant in Niles, is a member of the National Honor Society and is on Fitch's honor roll.
Also at the meeting, Melissa Bohr and Linda Rein, co-chairwomen for the Austintown Relay for Life, announced that more than 70 teams will participate in a two-day Relay for Life event starting at 6 p.m. June 17 and 18 at Fitch. The competition, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, is designed to raise money for cancer prevention and awareness. Cancer survivors will be honored and those who lost their lives to the disease will be remembered, Bohr and Rein said.
Along the same lines, Joyce Gottran, supervisor of parks and recreation, told trustees that a dedication ceremony for the Jessica Moorhead Pavilion will be held at noon Saturday at the township park. The event will be set up in memory of Jessica, who died of cancer a few years ago at age 12.
A $10 donation per vehicle will go toward raising money to help children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases, she noted. The event also will include a kite festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and other activities, and is open to the public, Gottran added.

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