During its “GMA Gives Back” segment, Good Morning America teamed together with Honey Bunches of Oats to recognize and honor 13-year-old Phoenix Brown of Chesapeake, Virginia.
Brown had intended to build a computer with some pals, but his perseverance led him down a more hospitable route.
“At one point it was basketball, at another point, it was wanting to build a computer, another point it was other things,” Brown’s father, Sheldon, told Good Morning America.
When his father told him about the 50-yard challenge, the Virginia Virtual Academy student decided to give it a shot.
“Anybody, any age, just have some fun, see what we can do,” Brown said back in September as he emphasized the joys of lawn care, according to WAVY. “Even if it’s not 500 — 100, 200, 300 — I just want to cut some grass, that’s all.”
Rodney Smith, the founder of the Raising Men & Women Lawn Care Service, established the 50-yard challenge.
The challenge is open to boys and girls aged 7 to 17, with the goal of each participant providing free lawn care for 50 yards.
According to WAVY, Brown eventually accepted the challenge and began providing free lawn service to disabled persons, the elderly, veterans, and single parents.
“He’s such a determined young man,” Smith said of Brown in an interview with GMA. “Phoenix is my hero and just like all the other kids in the program, they are my heroes because they’re leading the way and they’re encouraging America to make a difference in their communities.”
Brown’s mother, Joyce, told GMA that their family was “very proud of him.”
“Initially I thought, ‘Wow, it’s going to be hot outside and it’s 50 yards that we have to cut. How are we going to make this possible,” she said as she complimented her teen son.
Brown was surprised with a $10,000 prize from Good Morning America anchor Rob Marciano to help him pursue his possible interests and initiatives. “I’m going to put this [prize] towards my college fund, and some community efforts,” Brown said. “I appreciate everybody.”