A challenge give back to Marshall County

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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) -- A small group of Marshall County leaders are united with one big goal to make their community a better place.

"Gayle's Gardens is a project that Hospice of Marshall County has had a dream of since we built this building in 2007, and it is to honor our founder Gayle Roadruck, who loves gardens," Hospice of Marshall County Chief Executive Officer Rhonda Osborne says.

That garden sits behind Shepherd's Cove, the in-patient facility for Hospice of Marshall County. There was still more that could be done though, so an organization made up of community leaders with a goal to unite and give back to Marshall County came in to help. "We were delighted when the leadership program chose us to just continue the project and add to it," Osborne says.

The 2015 class of the Marshall County Leadership Challenge got to work on the garden for its hands-on community project. The projects have to have a long-term impact in the community.

The class felt continuing the garden was an easy choice. "They've done so much good for people at a difficult time in their lives," 2015 MCLC Class Member Lee Pack says.

"It's added so much to the atmosphere and to the grace of Shepherd's Cove, with that tranquility and peace," Osborne says.

"Everyone really enjoyed it," Pack says, "Giving back to the community and helping someone who has done so much in our area in Marshall County was a great feeling. We really enjoyed it."

Marshall County Leadership Challenge is an organization made up of the county's community leaders. The goal is to teach those individuals all aspects of Marshall County, to progress and unite, and also to give back.

During the several month program, each class has a unique opportunity to do that. "Each year each class has to develop a project, and over the years, since 1993, there have been so many people touched by those projects," Osborne says. She is also on the MCLC Board of Directors.

The projects have to be hands on. "They as a class have to determine where they feel like there is a need that they might meet in a relatively short period of time," says Osborne.

The latest project is continuing Gayle's Gardens, and that's just one of many.

Over the years the program's classes have donated to United Way, restored walking trails at the state park, worked with the county's schools, and worked on countless other efforts that directly benefit the county's agencies and residents.

Like Gayle's Gardens it's a continuing effort to give back, and the results are bright.

The program is accepting applications for its next class.