GARDENDALE, AL (WBRC) - An 18-year-old from Gardendale has been named the state's top volunteer.
Grayson Phillips has Spina bifida. He enjoys the outdoors and understands the struggles others go through when they want to be out hunting and fishing.
"My project was founding the Outdoor Ability Foundation. And what we do is we help give chairs like this or any adaptive equipment to disabled outdoors man so they can enjoy the outdoors," says Phillips. "I sent in an application to The Prudential and they reviewed it and sent me back a letter saying I was named the top state volunteer for Alabama for the high school division."
So far they have been able to help several people in need be able to go out and enjoy the great outdoors.
"One track chair goes for about $11,000 and we have given away six track chairs and one beach chair so the value of what we have given is around $84,000," says Phillips.
Because of his service to others he will be going to Washington D.C. at the end of April for The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.
"We are going to get to tour everything in D.C. The Smithsonian, hopefully we will get a trip to the White House but I don't know about that," says Phillips.. "And then they will have a banquet dinner, awards ceremony and just stuff like that."
During the awards ceremony the top 10 volunteers from throughout the country will be named.
For Phillips, this is not about the awards but about helping the community. Every year he does several fundraisers to fund The Outdoor Ability Program.
"We have done many fundraisers," explained Phillips. "We have a fishing tournament every year and this year we had a deer tournament, that was our first year to do it. It was a lot of fun. With the fishing tournaments we had three at Lake Guntersville and we had one at Smith Lake. We will be having another one in the early summer."
They don't only give grants for all-terrain power wheelchairs. They also give grants for any type of adaptive outdoor equipment such as crossbow cocking devices, portable hunting blinds, fishing equipment, skiing equipment, etc.
If you would like to check out his foundation or apply for a grant from The Outdoor Ability Program, click here.