2011 Judd Jacobson Memorial Award receipient announced


Flying Wheels Travel founder Judd Jacobson along with his wife Barbara, began Flying Wheels Travel in 1970. When Judd died, a foundation was established in his memory to provide grants to people with physical disabilities who share Judd’s entrepreneurial spirit. This year’s recipient is Nick Brown, owner of Nick’s Lawn Service in Shakopee, Minn.

This enterprising 18-year-old, a recent graduate of Shakopee High School, has been mowing lawns since he was twelve. Not unusual for many teens – except Nick has cerebral palsy, speech challenges and uses a power wheelchair to get around.

The owner of Nick’s Lawn Service, Brown and a friend Don Valiant, designed his first mower – a non-motorized, reel type which attached to the front of his wheelchair. A few years later Nick moved onto a power mower. Now he is using an older-model riding mower. He has contracts to mow four lawns, including the Shakopee Knights of Columbus event center and Church of St. Mary. Most of Nick’s customers are in wheelchair driving distance from his home.

“Nick exhibits the entrepreneurial spirit exemplified by Judd,” said Barbara Jacobson, member of the award committee and president of Flying Wheels Travel. “We hope this award will help him expand his business.”

“I am overjoyed to learn of this wonderful news,” said Nick. “I am so thankful to the Jacobson committee who just made my dream come true.”

Nick plans to use his award money to purchase a new Toro riding mower, twin bagger and drop in trailer. “The new mower will give me more independence. I’ll be able to start it myself and. Because it’s new, it will run more efficiently and allow me to increase the number of lawns I can mow.”

In addition to his lawn care business, Nick is one of the original power wheelchair soccer players for the Courage Center in Golden Valley, Minn. His team, the Blizzards, will be demonstrating their sport on October 5 at the Jacobson Award ceremony.

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