A tree was planted on the grounds of Russellville High School Nov. 6 in memory of the late Anthony Bertucci.
Bertucci died in a multiple fatality crash Sept. 3 at 20 years old. Kirk and Angela DeMars, of Sports Locker Magazine, coordinated the dedication ceremony, after having interviewed Bertucci during his time as a student athlete at Russellville High School in 2017, where he was on the cross country team. The tree was planted just outside the school's track.
"(He was) just a really nice young man," Kirk DeMars said. "We wanted to be able to do this today in memory of him."
The tree, purchased from nearby Longfellow's Garden Center in Centertown, is an October Glory Maple. A representative from Longfellow's helped to plant the tree, along with help from members of Russellville's cross country team. The tree will be maintained by the school's greenhouse moving forward. Bertucci's parents placed a small memorial plaque in the mulch in front of the tree after planting was complete.
The group gathered for the dedication paused for a moment of prayer, circled around the newly-planted tree, at the end of the ceremony.