National Jefferson Award nominee: Phil Jackson, Surf Dreams Foundation
Murrells Inlet, S.C. (WPDE) —
Every month, for the past year and a half, ABC 15 News has been bringing you stories of outstanding volunteers in our communities.
The Jefferson Award is given to people across the country for their outstanding dedication to public service.
Phil Jackson with Surf Dreams Foundation has been selected as our local nominee to go to Washington D.C. next month for the national Jefferson Awards ceremony.
"He is inside! He's sitting right there!" said Adam Dellinger with Gator 107.9 as he spotted Phil Jackson.
We surprised Phil Jackson with Surf Dreams Foundation, again!
Adam from Gator 107.9, who nominated Phil, was there to break the big news.
"June 27th you're going to DC, bro!" said Adam.
Jackson, who grew up in Murrells Inlet, started the non-profit in January 2014.
Here is what Jackson told us when he got the Jefferson Award last November, "Surfing saved my life. I was a drug addict. And I've been clean a little over 13 years now."
What started as a wetsuit drive morphed into teaching hundreds of local children how to surf.
"We've come a long way in a short period of time and we've put a lot of kids on a lot of waves. And that's really what it boils down to," said Jackson.
Many have gone on to compete up and down the coast, even in Puerto Rico.
And every summer, Jackson hosts 'Take a Kid Surfing Day' bringing smiles to so many faces.
"It builds character, I think, for the kids and they learn how to communicate with other kids from other parts of the country," said Jackson.
He hopes Surf Dreams not only helps kids accomplish their dreams, but also gives them a sense of belonging.
"It's really getting kids back into the sport of surfing and what's it's really about and that's having fun, meeting new friends, and being a family," said Jackson.
"Congratulations! In all seriousness. You do a great deal for the community and the Jefferson Awards Foundation, they want to hook you up, man," said Adam.
We will follow Phil's journey as he heads to D.C. next month, and let you know if he wins the National Jefferson Award.
In the meantime, to nominate a member of your community for the Jefferson Award click here.