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Friends, family plant trees in memory of Columbia Falls teen

By Rebecca Vogt, KCFW Reporter, rvogt@kcfw.com
Published On: Jun 29 2013 06:35:58 PM MDT
Updated On: Jun 29 2013 06:37:13 PM MDT
COLUMBIA FALLS, Mont. -

After 17-year-old Kayli Wagoner of Columbia Falls lost her life in a car accident on June 7th, family and friends joined together to plant trees in her honor.  Family friends Marcus O'Keefe and Dan Mascuillo helped to come up with Trees for Kayli.

"He told me he had a plan, so I called him up," O'Keefe said of Mascuillo. "He showed me what he was doing. And I was like, this is awesome. A living memorial that would outlive everyone in this room."

Within four days, 325 Ponderosa pines were sold out, a strong reminder of how much Kayli meant to friends and relatives.

"She was a beautiful girl and she had a huge heart," O'Keefe continued.

"She's one of a kind... beautiful soul," said Aaron Norton, Kayli's father.

Norton tells me Kayli was a "water baby," always floating on the Flathead River and particularly loved a section that was near her family's property, a gravel pit. That's why her Great Uncle Steve chose that spot to plant his two trees Saturday afternoon.

Norton said he'll make an effort to visit every single spot to check in on the trees dedicated to his daughter.

"I just want to say these trees are like children. You give them light, give them room to grow. Eventually you just have to hope they do well."

For more on The Kayli Fund and Trees for Kayli, visit their website.