Growing life out of death

Growing life out of death

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After a senseless beating, a mother wanted to remember her son. Joe Jenkins was there to help.

October 3, 2012
Brian Horn
Industry News
Monique Rivarde, Joe Jenkins and Monique’s daughter Fashionee plant a Japanese maple in a graden memorial for Monique’s son, Bobby.

When Monique Rivarde called Joe Jenkins, owner of Manicure Touch Lawn Care, about replacing some plants and pine straw in a memorial garden for her son, Jenkins knew it was a project he wanted do free of charge. Rivarde’s son, Bobby Tillman, was beaten to death by a group of teens at a party in November 2010 near Atlanta. According to news reports, Tillman did not provoke the group and was sucker-punched by one of the men before the group of four beat to the death the 5-foot-6, 125-pound Tillman. You can read more about the incident at

To honor his memory, his family built a garden outside of Chapel Hill High School where Tillman had just graduated from months earlier. But the garden needed more maintenance than anticipated and the plants began to die. That’s where Jenkins and the Manicure team stepped in and helped.

“We wanted a low maintenance garden, so we used a combination of ground cover and perennial plants with seasonal color just for some pop,” Jenkins said. “The plants are hardy and can withstand Georgia’s hot, dry summers.”

Jenkins also has plans for a second phase of the project.“We are planning on building a brick or stacked stone wall around the garden,” he says. “We are looking for sponsors for this project.” Until then, Jenkins can focus on the good work in the first phase.“Knowing that I was involved in a project that will last for years to come is someting special. It gives people a place to stop and think about today and remember that the garden is a place of peace.

Left: Jenkins presents Rivarde with the label from the Japanese maple they planted in memory of her son. Right: White stones were handmade by friends of Bobby Tillman in his memory.


Good Works is an occasional feature that highlights charitable projects our readers are working on. If you’d like to see your company’s recent good work profiled, send an email to Associate Editor Brian Horn at