"Bike Mike Day"
A friend name Vinnie F. gave Mike a two inch tree about ten years ago to grow. Mike has been taking care of the tree ever since.
For the last three years now. Mike was looking for a place to plant the tree. But had no luck. Because the tree has been under stress in the green round toy bucket.
Then August of 2005. The township of Belleville said okay on planting the tree on town property or the Belleville Rec House. The story even made it in the Belleville Post about the tree planting. Nothing happened since then.
Big Mike mentioned about the tree when Mike Pesci and his mother Lisa saw the tree early this year. Asking if Big Mike was planting it. Big Mike told them what is going on with the tree.
Mike Pesci then sent a letter to the mayor and council of Denville. They have approved it right away. Big Mike got a call that Denville wanted to have the tree. Denville planned the day for May 27, 2006.
Bike Mike was suprised and happy about it. "This was quick", Mike said. "Can not believe this tree is finally going to be planted", said Mike.
So the tree was picked up before 11am on tuesday, May 27th, 2006. Brought to Gardener Field in Denville. Then planted by 11:30am. Mike helped by cutting the plastic bucket off. Then plant it and cover the root with dirt.
The mayor of Denville, two council member and the park crew was there for photos. The mayor gave Big Mike a gold plated Denville pin. Which he wore all day. Big Mike was smiling of course.
At the end of the event. Mike was looking at the tree with a sad look. Mike said this . . I will miss the tree for sure. Have taken care of it for about ten years. Now it is like 15 feet tall. A maple tree. Now I won't have a tree to sit next to.
Then on June 4th, 2006. At the Perfect Pitch Home Run Derby. Mike was presented with a plaque and a new tree to take care of. The tree is a Japanese Maple. A slow growing tree. A purple/red leaves. The tree is in the 16 inch pot. Mike was asked to care for the tree for 3 to 5 years. Then re-donate the tree back to Denville.
The plaque for the tree in Denville reads like this. Big Mike Tree Grown and Nartured by Michael Dowd, Planted in honor of Arthur Richmon, Dedicated in memory of Chester Parciak, Donald Stefanelli and Albert Alves.