In the wake of last year's devastating tornado, a Phil Campbell native made it her mission to re-build a playground that got wiped out. At the time, it was Phil Campbell’s only playground.
Kim Sherrill inspired a campaign to raise funds and donations, and through her efforts, she inspired many people along the way.
Now Sherrill has been nationally recognized for her dedication to the tornado stricken community.
At Phil Campbell Elementary School, sounds of kids enjoying this playground equipment can be heard throughout the park.
For Sherill, it's this noise that marks a once, distant dream.
“They had nothing left, and as I stood there in all honesty, I thought about myself as a child and how, 30 minutes of play maybe on a playground sometimes brought that happiness to me, it meant that I didn`t have to worry about anything, and I just realized at that point that I had to do something to help these children,” said Sherill.
That's when Sherill got to work, spending hours on the phone, and pleading with companies to donate.
“I began making calls to people I did not know, I was calling Washington every day, three and four times a day, sometimes two hours a day, we were on the phone just waiting for anyone to talk to me,” said Sherrill.
Finally she had a breakthrough in her long battle when a non-profit organization, called KaBOOM agreed to help build the playground from the ground up, again.
“I was crying so hard when I got the call from KaBOOM and shouting, `Thank you God,’ because they deserve it,” said Sherrill.
And while her motivation was always for the children, she earned the 2012 President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition award for herself.
A stranger she worked with from the KaBOOM organization took notice of her efforts and nominated her for the community leadership award. An honor, only 46 other people share throughout the country, this year.