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franklin county times

Dream comes true for PC boy

Kolby Wilson’s cheeks turned a bright shade of red as a big grin crept across his face last Saturday evening.

Wilson, a first grade student at Phil Campbell Elementary School, stood in the shadows of Bryant-Denny Stadium on the University of Alabama’s campus shortly before the Crimson Tide’s Homecoming game against Vanderbilt.

Family members took photos as Wilson posed with State Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow on the lawn of a sorority house, standing next to decorations made for the Homecoming festivities.

For Wilson, it was his second trip to the fabled stadium this season to see his favorite team play.

Morrow met Wilson just days after the deadly April 27 tornado outbreak that swept across the state, killing 26 people in Franklin County alone and leaving hundreds homeless.

Wilson’s home was one of those destroyed that day.

A week later, during a school presentation held at Northwest-Shoals Community College, Morrow noticed Wilson bashfully covering the front of his T-shirt, as if he was trying to keep anyone from seeing it.

When Morrow approached and asked the then kindergarten student what was wrong, he got a reply that he never expected.

“He was holding his shirt so nobody could see it,” Morrow said. “I asked him what was on it and he said it was an Auburn shirt. I told him that I liked it and he said he didn’t because he was an Alabama fan.”

The Auburn shirt was the only thing he had to wear that day.

A couple of weeks later, Morrow and Wilson’s kindergarten teacher, Alicia Swinney, gave him an Alabama birthday party at the school.

Morrow said then that he hoped to be able to take Wilson to his first Alabama game this fall. But, an out-of-county reader of the Franklin County Times saw the story about Wilson’s birthday party and offered him tickets to the season opener against Kent State.

This past Saturday, Franklin County Schools assistant superintendent Donald Borden, who is the father of Wilson’s kindergarten teacher, took Wilson and his mother, Jada Colbert, to Tuscaloosa for the game.

A friend of Morrow’s, Spencer Burchfield, arranged for Wilson to sit with him in his skybox at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

“Johnny Mack told me about Kolby and his story and about how he had been through so much. This was just a small way for me to help him,” Burchfield said.

He then had the idea to present Wilson with some Alabama memorabilia.

“I told Coach Saban about the story and how much Kolby loved Alabama and he was more than happy to sign a football for him,” Burchfield said.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter Saturday, Morrow and his wife, Dr. Martha Morrow, were able to go up to Burchfield’s skybox and present Wilson with the football.

“I was excited,” Wilson said.

“It was neat up there and it’s so big. I love it.”

Morrow said he was thrilled to see Wilson enjoy himself so much, especially with all he went through following the tornado.

“He’s such a sweet young boy,” Morrow said.

“I am just glad we were able to do something to bring him some happiness. He certainly deserves it.”

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