CHEYENNE – Lawnmower dreams do come true.
Granted, some people may not dream of lawnmowers. But for Bauner Borgman, a new lawnmower was a dream he held close to his heart.
Bauner, 21, recently graduated from Pine Bluffs Junior/Senior High. Despite challenges presented by cerebral palsy, students and staff members at the school saw Bauner as a bright light and shining star at the school.
Bauner’s mom, Tabitha Borgman, said on graduation day, May 19, that leaving high school threw off Bauner’s routine and left him unsure of himself.
But he always knew what he wanted for his future: a John Deere zero-turn riding lawnmower and a job selling tractors for the company.
John Deere and 4Rivers Equipment made at least one of those dreams a reality Friday.
Bauner arrived at 4Rivers Equipment at 1 p.m. expecting a meet and greet experience and an opportunity to look at all the John Deere equipment. He didn’t know he’d be test driving his new lawnmower.
Bauner’s dad, Dan Borgman, and Chris Miller, 4Rivers Equipment branch manager, helped Bauner move from his electric wheelchair into a John Deere Z540M Z-Track zero-turn riding lawnmower. Wearing the green John Deere ballcap Miller gave him, Bauner looked like he was made to ride that mower.
Bauner rode all around the lawn outside the store, learning to move forward and backward, to turn and to stop, smiling all the while.
When Miller handed Bauner the key to the mower, it seemed to take Bauner just a moment to realize Miller was giving him the lawnmower.
Miller told Bauner, “You did such a good job, I’m just going to give you this mower.”
Then it sank in for Bauner that he wouldn’t have to save up $5,000 for a new lawnmower, and he began to grin. Bauner could hardly contain his excitement. With a blinding smile, he responded, “Yeah! You betcha! I wanna help my dad mow!”
Bauner was so excited to have his new lawnmower, Miller arranged to have it delivered to his house immediately. A 4Rivers employee followed Bauner’s family home to deliver it.
Tabitha Borgman said Bauner previously had a smaller tractor mower, but he outgrew it, which disappointed him greatly. She said Bauner was afraid of lawnmowers when he was young.
“When Dan (Bauner’s father) would mow, we’d have to turn music on and go in the bedroom and make noise, so he couldn’t hear it,” Tabitha explained.
Gaining this shiny, new lawnmower isn’t just exciting because it means Bauner can help his dad mow just in time for Father’s Day. Although, it’s his second lawnmower, it’s a celebration of Bauner overcoming his fears so well that he now enjoys what once caused him terror.
It became a celebration Friday for Bauner, his family, 4Rivers Equipment and John Deere. Hunter Barlow came down from the 4Rivers Equipment home office in Greeley to be part of the event.
Miller said the effort to give Bauner a mower began when he saw the article about Bauner’s graduation, published May 20, in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. He sent the article to John Deere’s advertisers, who sent it to the John Deere corporate office.
John Deere paid the cost of the lawnmower for Bauner. Miller ordered a seatbelt and a step to attach to the mower, so Bauner can get in more easily. 4Rivers Equipment paid for those extras.
But gaining this mower is just half of Bauner’s John Deere dreams.
Tabitha said one of the first things Bauner did when they arrived at 4Rivers Equipment was ask them if they have any job openings. She said Miller told him they sure did.
After presenting Bauner with his new mower, Miller told him, “You gotta get on my website and apply for a job, OK?”
Bauner said, “You betcha!” Barlow told Bauner 4Rivers Equipment would be lucky to have him.
Miller said he’d never seen someone as excited about mowing as Bauner, but he added, “I like to believe that’s everybody’s dream.”