HIGH POINT, N.C. -- FOX8 first told you about Marcus Thomas last month, a once troubled teen from High Point who turned his life around to start a lawn care business.
It was his dream to have his own lawn mower to help move his business forward. Thanks to community support and donations, including those from FOX8 viewers, that wish came true.
Thomas was told by the staff at Eckerd that he was going to look at lawn mowers.
"But I knew something was going on ‘cause everybody was all dressed up and they kept telling me to get dressed up,” Thomas said.
During the car ride to Branson Tractor South in Greensboro, Thomas started to get suspicious and began asking questions. Christal Herbin, Community Intervention Manager with Eckerd, was in the car with Marcus.
"Well where is Nanny going? She's too dressed up. Why does Larry have a trailer? Am I getting a lawn mower today?” she said Thomas asked along the way.
“No, baby. You're not getting a lawn mower. We're pricing them,” Herbin told him.
Other Eckerd staff members waited inside Branson Tractor South and yelled surprise as Thomas and Herbin walked in the door.
"They did catch me off guard. I didn't expect to get it like this with a big surprise,” Thomas said.
Until the surprise, Marcus had been borrowing a lawn mower. Alan Carroll is co-owner of Branson Tractor South. After hearing about Thomas, he sold the lawn mower well below cost. The discount and community support were enough to give Thomas a Toro riding mower.
"I'm convinced he will use it to his advantage and make us proud,” Carroll said.
Moving forward, Marcus will serve on the Juvenile Justice Board. Young people and others appointed by Governor Pat McCrory will make recommendations on how to help youth with similar backgrounds.