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Germantown Woman Receives Golden Shovel Award


A 72-year-old Germantown woman proved that you can take the girl out of Milwaukee, but you can’t take the Milwaukee out of the girl.

Jeanette Steele was among the 20 Montgomery County residents presented with the 2015 Golden Shovel Awards by Council Vice President Nancy Floreen on Tuesday, April 21. The awards recognize residents who helped neighbors shovel out after snowfalls during the harsh winter of 2014-15.

“When it snows you have got to go out and shovel,” said Steele matter-of-factly when she was asked why she shovels the snow in her neighborhood. Steele has been shoveling snow since she was a child growing up in Milwaukee. “I enjoy being outside and I don’t like to walk in the snow. If you want to go out in the winter you have to shovel the snow.”

Steele has been living in Germantown for four or five years and has been shoveling her neighbors’ sidewalks in the Waterford Place community near Waters Landing Elementary School in Germantown. She said that helping her neighbors clear their sidewalks and driveways keeps her in touch with her Midwestern roots.

Council Vice President Floreen initiated the Golden Shovel awards to honor residents who helped neighbors by shoveling walkways and driveways after a snowfall. The 2014-15 winter season in Montgomery County, according to the County Department of Transportation, had seasonal snow totals ranging from 34.4 inches (in the southern part of the County) to 46.6 inches (in northern areas of the County). In addition, there were 20 days when the high temperature for the day was 30 degrees or below.

Steele was among the 97 Montgomery County residents who were nominated for the Golden Shovel Awards this year.

“As I read through the nominations, I recognized how grateful people are for the kindness of their neighbors,” said Councilmember Floreen. “Truly these nominees are unsung heroes, so it was difficult to select the winners. All those nominated are certainly deserving of our appreciation, and we thank them for their selflessness.”

Caption: The long and snowy winter produced numerous Montgomery County residents who went out of their way to help neighbors. On April 21, County Council Vice President Nancy Floreen presented “Golden Shovel Awards” to more than 20 residents who helped neighbors shovel out after snowfalls, include Jeanette Steele of Germantown.

Photo courtesy Montgomery County Council.