A blooming cherry blossom memory

Lake Ridge and Mountain View middle school students planting the memorial tree for Julieanne Cieslikowski at Bonney Lake High School.

Beautify Bonney Lake and the Sumner and Bonney Lake Area Communities for Families Coalition teamed up for the Plateau’s 22nd Annual Community Summit last week.

The community summit is a string of projects and community discussions about student and community issues. Several presummit sessions and break out discussions included talking about student behaviors around drugs and alcohol, how to stay safe online, how to help students plan for life out of high school and what is happening locally around the U.S. Open golf tournament.

Paralympic Jim Martinson was this year’s keynote speaker at the summit. After losing both of his legs when a land mine exploded, Martinson went on to be a multiple gold-medalist in the Paralympic Games.

One of this year’s projects was to plant a memorial tree at Bonney Lake High School. Lake Ridge and Mountain View middle school students volunteered to help with the project.

The blooming cherry tree memorializes Bonney Lake High School student Julieanne Cieslikowski, who was murdered by her mother on Feb. 27.  According to investigators, the mother then shot herself.

“Every spring it will blossom, so every time it blossoms people will remember her,” said Beautify Bonney Lake chairman Julie Bown. “Hopefully this will be a reminder of her beauty.”

The tree was planted at the south-west entrance of the school near the entrance of the parking lot, along with other trees that have been planted to memorialize students.

“Memorializing other students has meaning to students here,” said Vice Principal Kelsey Anderson, who was also a volunteer at the summit. “She was a part of our family.”

Reach Ray Still at rstill@courierherald.com or 360-825-2555 ext. 5058. Follow him on Twitter @rayscottstill.