Dead Lawn Nearly Thwarts Fundraise

Dead Lawn Nearly Thwarts Fundraise

Like most Americans, Rob Olson takes pride in tending to his pristine green lawn, 2 1/2 acres of finely manicured grass surrounding his spacious home outside Minneapolis.

"It was nice and green," said Olson.

So just imagine his shock when his pride and joy went from green to dead.

"Now I have hay," said Olson.

Nothing but hay, as far as his eye can see.

Rob says the trouble started when he went to his local garden shop to pick up his favorite brand of weed killer. What he didn't realize, the brown botttle he usually buys had been repackaged, and now, along with weeds it also kills grass. Olson didn't see the warning inside the label and sprayed as usual.   

"Thought I did everything right," said Olson.

The next day, when Olson got home from work his entire lawn was dead. His wife Jill never saw him so upset.

"His arms are flailing. His face was turning all red," said Jill.

But Olson's rage wasn't just over the loss of a green lawn. Each year, he and Jill hold a fundraiser on that big lawn for cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening disease that afflicts their two sons.

"It's what I can do to save my children," said Olson.

Last year, the fundraiser on his rich green lawn netted $20,000. This year he was hoping to do it again, expecting 500 people out on the lawn.

"My goal was to have a big beautiful lawn," said Olson.

Well, the lawn may have died, but Olson's dream of a fundraiser got new life when he was offered an indoor venue for the event. Singer Bret Michaels helped make it the highest grossing fundraiser ever, bringing in twice as much green as last year's event.

So Rob Olson's lawn may be dead, but his fundraiser was as lush as his lawn used to be.

"There's a green side," said Olson.