Back in March, the Gulf Coast was introduced to Reba Cunningham of Fairhope; a retired History teacher who entered our Ugliest Yard contest. However, just before Reba was announced as the winner, she was diagnosed with cancer and needed surgery. When WKRG News 5 went to reveal the winner, we were met by Reba…no, not the retired teacher, but instead by her daughter of the same name, who was present for her mother who was fresh out of surgery. When I showed up, I saw a very charming house in a beautiful neighborhood, that needed just a little bit of help.
The yard, lined with a thin wire fence, guarding among other things a small paint chipped red metal table and four chairs, perfect for a Sunday teatime on a nice day, sat in wait for the changes that were about to come. It was clear that Reba cared about her property, but unfortunately maintaining it simply got out of hand. At the time of writing this, the yard is in the process of being transformed into a relaxing oasis that she will be proud of.
It was clear from the day that we first arrived, that this project wasn’t just for a retired schoolteacher, but a project for the entire community that cared about her immensely. Loving neighbors began to show up with their families to congratulate and show support for their friend. The entire community has rallied around Reba and her yard, as even the Boy Scouts came out to help with the revitalization of the property.
As we watch the transformation of this yard, from the excavation, to the brand new sod being laid, to the Boy Scouts proudly painting her thin wire fence, you see a metamorphosis happening right before your eyes. I’m not referring to simply a retired school teachers yard in Fairhope, but of a community that has rallied around one of their own, to bring some joy to a friend in her enduring fight with cancer. Because as we all know, sometimes, the best medicine you can give a person, is a smile.
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