RICHMOND, Va. -- The community came together to honor "tiny hero" Marty Cobb. Cobb, who was eight years old, was murdered about a year ago while trying to protect his sister who was being assaulted by Mairese Washington, Cobb's family said.
Thursday, more than 200 volunteers built a new playground at Elizabeth Redd Elementary School in remembrance of Cobb and dedicated a bench to him. Thursday's dedication came less than 24 hours after Washington pleaded no contest to murdering Cobb. Washington, 17, was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
The playground was built in about six hours as volunteers from Kaboom and CarMax Cares teamed up to fund playground equipment that otherwise would have cost the school more than $100,000.
"We really believe that there is a healing power in playing, kids need a place to run around and forget about the stressors of life," explained Teresa Crippen, with Kaboom.
The new playground at Redd is the third one CarMax and Kaboom have built in the Richmond area.
Herold Fitrer, CEO of Communities and Schools in Richmond said school counselors wanted to do something in remembrance of Cobb, and that is what lead to the playground.
Roberta Ogel volunteered her time and energy on Thursday because her daughter was one of Marty's classmates.
"The kids are still very touched by his death, I think they are all very conscious about what happened," she said. "It was a very brave thing that Marty did, I think he will inspire people way beyond the years he was here on Earth."
Fitrer said the playground is open to the public, and was built to benefit the entire community.