Lawnmower Man to get new gear Wednesday thanks to crowd funding

      Cox on a running trail clearing a downed tree (Source: All News 99.1)

      WASHINGTON (WCIV) - Thanks to the generosity of strangers, the man who gained fame for cleaning up memorials during the government shutdown will be getting some new equipment.

      Chris Cox will return to the Lincoln Memorial this Wednesday, November 13 at 1:30 p.m. to receive a chainsaw and other donations from around the country through charity crowdfunding site and STIHL, the number one selling brand of chainsaw worldwide.

      Chris Cox got national attention for cutting the grass and cleaning up trash around the Lincoln Memorial last month after government employed groundskeepers were sent home. He said he was doing it for the veterans set to appear for the Million Vet March.

      That attention drew hundreds of volunteers to the Capital to help him out and it also got the attention of a crowd-sourcing website called Crowd it Forward.

      "At Crowd It Forward, we like to reward people like Chris who do selfless acts to benefit others. As a token of our appreciation, we raised funds to do something for Chris in return for his random act of kindness."

      Cox's story swelled on social media as photos of a bearded man mowing the lawn of the Lincoln Memorial while carrying a South Carolina flag were shared on Twitter and Facebook.

      It only took a couple hours before the city, and then the nation, had a name - Chris Cox - and a cause - the Memorial Militia.

      Cox has said repeatedly that his sole interest in cleaning up the half-mile stretch from the Lincoln Memorial to the World War II Memorial was to make sure the veterans who showed up for the march didn't turn away in disgust at how unkempt the area was during the shutdown.

      "In this Random Act of Crowdfunding, we raised more than $1,500 through your tax-deductible donations," the site reads. "We will buy Chris a new riding lawnmower, a new set of tools to help him with his wood carving business, or donate the funds to a charity of his choice in his name if he chooses to not accept the gift."

      As of 2 p.m. on Nov.12, 72 people donated a total of $1,810. The goal was only $1,500 and according to the site, the surplus will go to "The Green Beret Foundation in Chris Cox's honor, or to a veterans' charity that Chris Cox prefers."

      To read more about the Crowd It Forward campaign, click here.