Grasshopper donates zero-turn mower to U.S. veteran

On Veterans Day, Grasshopper donated a commercial-grade zero-turn mower to Steve Ellsberry, a retired combat-wounded Army Staff Sergeant.

Continuing its commitment to honoring our nation’s military service members and supporting combat heroes, Grasshopper has donated a commercial-grade zero-turn mower to a combat-wounded veteran for the second year in a row. 

Grasshopper awarded the new mower to 2014 recipient Steve Ellsberry, a retired combat-wounded Army Staff Sergeant from Jacksonville, FL, in partnership with Military Warriors Support Foundation (MWSF), a 501(c)(3) organization providing support for combat-wounded heroes, and comedian Jeff Foxworthy.

Grasshopper and MWSF representatives presented Ellsberry with his Grasshopper zero-turn mower, a Model 329B/61, during a turkey hunt at Foxworthy's Georgia farm in mid-April. The hunt and presentation is the subject of the May 5 episode of Foxworthy's online web series Foxworthy Outdoors: Inside & Out; the series is sponsored in-part by Grasshopper.

“We are pleased to partner with Military Warriors Support Foundation again to donate this mower to Steve,” says Ruthanne Stucky, Executive Vice President at Grasshopper. “Grasshopper recognizes the sacrifice made by those who serve in our armed forces, and this is our way of showing appreciation and gratitude to our nation’s veterans.”

Ellsberry was selected from a pool of qualified candidates through MWSF’s “Homes4WoundedHeroes” program due to his experiences while on active duty, his desire to operate his own mowing service and his plan to donate the use of his Grasshopper mower to mow 30 acres at Veterans Farm in Jacksonville.

“Grasshoppers are the best zero-turn mowers out there,” says Ellsberry. “We used a lot of equipment at Veterans Farm, and it out-mowed everything. It would cut through waist-high grass with no problems.”

Ellsberry has since left Veterans Farm to pursue his dream of owning and operating his own mowing and landscaping business. He is currently in the process of creating a business plan with a focus on hiring veterans and giving back to veterans’ causes and organizations.

“I’ve been blessed and honored to receive this mower from Grasshopper, and I want to extend the same blessings to veterans by offering them employment and teaching them life skills,” he says.

In addition to donating a zero-turn mower to a veteran every year, Grasshopper donates 100% of the profits from every sale of co-branded, camouflaged MWSF/Grasshopper gear to MWSF. MWSF awards 100% mortgage-free homes to combat-wounded veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan through its “Homes4WoundedHeroes” program. Each recipient also receives three years of financial mentoring so that they can learn the skills necessary to become successful homeowners.