Man who mowed mall during shutdown gets chainsaw

Chris Cox of Mount Pleasant, S.C., pushes a cart near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. Cox took it upon himself to mow and clean up the grounds around the Lincoln Memorial during the government shutdown and had worked at least 100 hours, since he started eight days ago. (FILE/AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON — After the federal government shut down, Chris Cox grabbed a lawn mower, landscaping tools and a flag and headed for the National Mall.

Then he got to work.

The self-appointed citizen groundskeeper from South Carolina mowed, blew leaves and picked up trash. While he did, fascination and support grew.

Now, the favor is being returned.

This week Cox will accept a new chainsaw and about $1,500 — the product of online donations.

“I thought, this is the perfect opportunity for us to do something for someone who’s doing something inspiring,” says Kendall Almerico, founder of Crowd it Forward.

“We launched a crowd funding campaign to raise money to get Chris Cox a riding lawn mower,” he says.

Cox had used a push mower around the Lincoln Memorial, but he says he really doesn’t need a new mower.

The chainsaw sculptor would be better served with a new chainsaw, and that’s exactly what he’ll get on Wednesday.

“In reality, he had a lot of expenses for not working for a couple weeks, he had something like $500 of parking tickets,” Almerico says. “So this will help him get going again.”

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