Hanging out with the Detroit Mower Gang
June 24th, 2015 was a beautiful day, perfect weather for mowing grass. Which in turn meant perfect weather for local Detroit heroes the “Detroit Mower Gang” who get together Wednesday afternoons/evenings just for that purpose: Mowing Grass. We were happy to join the Mower Gang for their Wednesday night event at the Dorais Velodrome. We didn’t break out the mowers and weed whippers, but we did break out the grill for hot dogs and burgers which was sponsored by our Rochester Hills branch. Power equipment needs oil and gas to operate, but their hard working operators need a different kind of fuel and it was Lush Lawn’s honor to be invited by them to provide some post mowing chow! Lush Lawn owner Aaron Samson, Branch Manager Rob Furgerson, and myself (Marketing Director Collin Otto) showed up to take care of the cooking and of course to hang out with the guys and get to know a little more about what they do.
If you’ve never heard of the Detroit Mower Gang, allow me to fill you in on what they do: They show up to public parks in Detroit in order to mow them down so that the local kids have somewhere to go and play. It’s as simple as that. This has been their mission for years now and its one that has brought them great respect in the community.
When group leader/founder Tom Nardone was asked by us how it all begin, he put a smile on his face and gestured to everyone in the vicinity, “Now children, gather around the fire…” He joked with a playful smirk as he delved into telling the tale of how the gang got together…
During the height of Detroit’s financial troubles the city had no recourse but to cut funding to several areas. This extended to community services such as park maintenance. Times were tough and the city had to make hard decisions in order to provide the most essential services to the most citizens possible. This is where the Mower Gang came in, founder Tom Nardone, noticed that a park he drove by everyday on his way to work wasn’t being cut. After a while of seeing this, he decided that he was going to cut the park himself as a form of community service. He then started a facebook page, hosted an event, and soon one man grew into a group of guys cutting parks throughout the city. He added that their work has become a little easier as the city has been able to start cutting more of the parks again and was excited by the positive direction the city is moving in.
The mower gang comes across as an eclectic, fun, yet humble crew. They spent the evening after mowing cruising around the velodrome on their mowers,motorcycles,go-karts, trikes, and a few other cool toys. Hot dog eating contests and cool stories filled the time on the sidelines. If you called them heroes they’d just blow it off and smile. In their minds, they’re just having fun and helping their community in the meantime. To them this is an outlet; a retreat from sitting all day at work and an excuse to get outside. But to the children of Detroit, though they’d never characterize themselves in this light, they are heroes.
We wish the members of the Detroit Mower Gang nothing but success, both in their charitable work and personal lives. check their website out at www.mowergang.com, and you can see a listing of their events and happenings on their facebook page. They are always open to new members and if your interested in helping out or supporting their mission be sure to contact Tom!
Thanks for reading!