APOPKA, Fla.- – Apopka resident Marcus West received a baffling call from his wife Monday afternoon, informing him that a group of strangers was mowing their lawn.
Much to his surprise, officers from the Apopka Police Department pledged nearly three weeks ago to mow 50 lawns for residents as part of Raising Men Lawn Care Service’s 50 Yard Challenge.
“I was so happy when they came out here," said West, who has been living in the area for 55 years. “I looked and seen all the people cutting, edging, mowing. I was just proud.”
His lawn had not been cut or spruced up in two years, he said.
Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson also joined the challenge, pushing an orange lawn mower across West’s lawn.
"I didn't pay anyone to mow the lawn," said West, who was not home at time of the surprise visit. "I thanked (the officers), but I didn't get a chance to greet the mayor."
The challenge calls for participants to cut 50 lawns for the elderly, disabled people, single mothers and veterans of their hometown free of charge.
Using their own equipment, the fleet of officers and the mayor knocked on doors all throughout South Washington Street, offering to cut and edge residents’ lawns on their off-duty time.
Just a block away, Mary Macon, an Apopka resident of 20 years, was sitting on a wooden stool by her doorstep when the group arrived.
She posed alongside the officers and the mayor after they transformed her yard.
“We know what we signed up for. We know we're cutting Florida lawns in the summer heat, and we're OK with that,” said Officer Justin Lemieux, who remembers receiving hugs and homemade cookies from residents.
To inquire about receiving lawn mowing services from members of the Apopka Police Department, contact Lemieux at JLemieux@Apopka.net.