By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Youth Mows Down Obstacles In Pursuit Of Air Hockey Table
lawnmower collin french
Though he has to take a break and rest for a few days because of his immunity levels, Collin French is excited to get back outside and make money with some contactless lawn care, a business venture he has started this summer. Photo Contributed

Though local Fair Oaks sixth grader, now a rising seventh grade student, Collin French of Oakdale, has had his lawn mowing business for a year, he’s had to get accustomed to getting put “on pause.” Collin is also no stranger to bleach wipes and hand sanitizer even before COVID began, due to his leukemia. 

“Right now my immunity’s at 270,” he shared, noting that the last time he was at the hospital it was around 800; in short, it had dropped by a lot. For comparison, though dramatized, he joked that his friends’ levels were probably at “six thousand.”

Collin has been mowing lawns to save up some money and classifies himself as a saver rather than a spender.

“The reason I started doing the lawn mowing business was because I wanted to save up for a 3-in-1 air hockey table. It’s air hockey, pink pong, and pool,” he shared.

Because Collin is cooped up in his house both because of leukemia and the pandemic, the air hockey table seems like the perfect way to occupy him and his brother, Micah. Though he and his family initially made fliers to promote the lawn mowing business, they didn’t gain too much traction. It wasn’t until his mom, Kim, posted the news on Facebook that the support come flooding in.

Her post was met with nearly 20 shares from others, offers to donate to Collin’s fund, and even people who were willing to give Collin their air hockey tables.

To everyone who has shared his business and supported him, Collin responded: “I would probably say thank you ... I thought it would only be one or two people … really, this many? I just want to say to all those people who say that or reposted it that I really appreciate it.”

He not only expressed his gratitude to those who are supporting his lawn mowing business, but also extended it to those who are actively preventing the spread of coronavirus.

When asked if he was excited to start seventh grade, Collin shrugged: “Not really, because I’m stuck at home for half of the year. I’m guessing at the rate of numbers going up and people deciding not to put their mask on, it’ll be awhile before I get to go back to school.”

Even before the pandemic became so widespread, Collin had only been at school for three days in 2020. When his immune levels dropped, he had to stay home and by the time it was alright for him to return, classes were pushed online.

Despite needing to stay at home, Collin’s positive attitude and smile hasn’t faltered. He’s thrilled to start playing Plants Versus Zombies “as soon as my friends are able to come over and I get the okay from the doctor.”

As for his lawn mowing business, once his immunity is back up, he’s ready to start making money and be able to fill up his time with the summer job. Along with pulling weeds, he assures that the mowing is a contactless exchange and his parents help him bring a mower to whatever lawn needs his attention.

“It’s just me. My brother said he wanted to help but then I was like ‘Micah, this is my business. You want your own business, by all means go make one,’” he jokingly shared. “But the table I’m getting is for me and my little brother.”

Collin’s positivity and kind heart have touched those around him. The good news is that he has now made enough money for the air hockey table ... and even a little extra. His mom continues to post updates on Facebook as the community rallies behind Collin and his impressive initiative. For now, locals can request for lawn care by texting (209) 495-9000 and help out by doing their part to stop the spread of coronavirus.