Two months ago, Philip Michael Armstrong was taking a stroll around the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus. He walked hand-in-hand with his girlfriend, Danylle. Along the way, they happened to pass by a memorial bench. Philip remarked that he would never want such a bench to be constructed in his memory. “I would rather have a tree,” he said. Danylle half-jokingly replied, “Babe, if you die before me, I will get you a memorial tree. I promise.” Little did she know that, one week later, Philip would be dead. He was 19 years old. Unsure how she would fulfill this final promise, Danylle began searching for a way to plant Philip’s tree. It was beginning to seem impossible. Then, she sent one simple email to the CCMC community manager at Mountain’s Edge, Vicky Parris. What happened next? The power of community began to work its magic!
Vicky responded to Danylle’s email, not with a lot of questions or excuses. She only asked what type of tree Danylle would like. Why? According to Vicky it was, quite simply, the right thing to do. She quickly contacted the community’s landscaper and shared this tragic story. They chose to donate a Chinese Pistash tree for its gorgeous, deep red fall foliage – a beautiful reminder of this young vibrant life. They hand-picked a special place in Exploration Park to plant Philip’s tree, next to a bench and away from all other trees. A place of refuge. A place of tranquility. A place that was possible because of the power of community and because one community manager believed in being there. Rest in peace, Philip. RIP.