Eli Brookens of Waterbury Center died at age 16 in a car crash with a wrong-way driver in October 2016, along with four of his friends from the Mad River Valley.

Family, friends and community members gathered July 27 at Dac Rowe Field in Waterbury to dedicate a bench created in his memory, play music, and kick around some soccer balls — one of Eli’s many athletic pursuits.

Brookens’ mother, Colleen Ovelman, also started a scholarship program in his name to support the Crossett Brook Middle School ski and snowboard program, which has raised more than $10,000.