Council approves funds for children’s memorial tree |

Council approves funds for children’s memorial tree

Tribune staff report

The South Lake Tahoe Children's Memorial Tree is shown. Tribune file photo

The Great Ideas for Tahoe, Inc. Board of Directors authorized the replacement of the Children's Memorial Tree as an approved GIFT project at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

The memorial, originally dedicated in 1994 to honor young people from the community who had died, is rotting and a committee has started raising money to save it.

Sue Hrbacek founded the memorial three years after her son, Rory, and two of his friends, Sandy Haynes and Casey Wells, were involved in a fatal car accident on Pioneer Trail. The log started with 36 bronze nameplates. Now there are more than 220.

The proposed design to update the memorial would be a constructed steel armature frame covered by a polymer modified cement mixture and sculpted to model the existing tree, according to a press release.

The GIFT fund currently has a balance of more than $2,600, which the board approved for disbursement. The tree will cost $13,550 to replace, according an estimate from artist Dan Jones. GIFT will continue to receive donations on behalf of the memorial tree, according to a release.

The South Lake Tahoe City Council also serves at the GIFT Board of Directors.

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"Through the years, and especially recently, people have donated to the GIFT fund specifically for the category earmarked for the Children's Memorial Tree. To date, it has been used to purchase new plaques for the tree (sadly), and do minor maintenance. Now, it has deteriorated to the point it needs to be replaced. Because members of the public are donating, the funds need to be tracked through the non-profit GIFT program," City Council Member JoAnn Conner wrote in an email.

The City Council discussed a request to match funds for the project if the cost can't be covered through donations, according to Conner.

Donations made payable to GIFT. Inc can be sent to GIFT Inc. at 1901 Airport Rd., South Lake Tahoe.

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