HAMPTON, Va. - Joined by two Hampton police officers, News 3 cameras were rolling as we spotted Elizabeth Ann Holloman, a school crossing guard near Phillips Elementary.
The city's police department is in charge of the school crossing guards and wanted to be on hand when we surprised Holloman, who admitted when she saw us approaching, she was, "Scared to death!"
I told her an email came to the News 3 newsroom from a viewer who wrote, "She's out there every morning and afternoon with a smile on her face and a huge heart."
Without a doubt Holloman loves her job, which she knows can be dangerous. She remembers about three years ago a car was coming down a street she was patrolling and kids were in the crosswalk. Holloman said there were no indications that driver was going to stop.
"I saw that she wouldn't stop, so I tried to hurry the kids along the way and I couldn't turn around to see the kids because she kept coming at me and she actually pushed my legs from underneath me and I ended up on the hood of her car," she told us.
It left her with bumps and bruises but had no impact on her dedication of doing her morning and afternoon shifts.
That viewer email went onto to say, "She loves the kids' smiles and she has been doing it for 20 years or so. An amazing person, great woman and all around awesome role model for all the young ones she comes in contact with."
The email had her choking back tears.
"Yeah..I don't like surprises...I can't stand surprises," Holloman said.
But this was a good surprise. News 3 presented her with a News 3 People Taking Action award along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank.
So why does she get so much enjoyment out of this? Holloman said it helps her deal with the loss of her husband 11 years ago.
"The kids fill a void in my heart and my soul. They're my backbone. Their love and hugs - that's what I miss most of all with my husband," Holloman told us. "I miss his hugs, so anytime you wanna stop the car and give me a hug, you do so."
She says she plans to give her Visa gift card as a Christmas gift to a family with three kids near the school.