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Two Germantown Residents Earn Gold Shovel Awards

When the Blizzard of ’16 hit back in January and dropped over 36-inches on Germantown, Phelps Rogovoy and Casey Scufca knew it was too much snow for one person to shovel, especially their elderly neighbor, so they did something about it. They repeated worked to clear heaps of snow from their neighbor’s driveway and pathway.

Scufca and Rogovoy’s neighbor was alone in the midst of the biggest blizzard in Maryland history, her husband overseas in Afghanistan. “Being just her (at the house) is pretty difficult,” said Rogovoy. “It’s never easy being alone in these types of things.” Together, Scufca and Rogovoy removed around 40 inches of snow from their neighbor’s property on Indian Grass Drive in Germantown.

When Scufca and Rogovoy performed this act of kindness, they thought nothing of it. Just a neighbor helping a neighbor; a friend helping a friend. “She would do the same thing for me if the roles were reversed,” said Rogovoy. They didn’t expect to be recognized for their selfless work.

Last month, Rogovoy and Scufca were chosen to be awarded the Golden Shovel Awards. A ceremony was held to commemorate them and the other 2016 Golden Shovel Award recipients in the Council Office Building in Rockville.

Initiated by Montgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen in 2003, the awards were created to honor those in the Montgomery County community who have helped their neighbors and friends shovel each other to safety during snowy weather.

“And this year, our heroes had a lot of work to do. According to our Department of Transportation, Montgomery County had with snow totals ranging from 32.4 inches in the southern part of the County to 53.5 inches in northern areas of the County,” said Floreen at the awards ceremony.

Honorees are nominated by individuals for their hard work in the community. These nominations than are submitted and few are chosen from the pack. This year, there were 75 nominations and only 17 were chosen to receive the awards.

“As I read through the nominations, I recognized how grateful people are for the kindness of their neighbors,” said Floreen. “All those nominated are certainly deserving of our appreciation, and we thank them for their selflessness.”

“We are a tight community,” said Rogovoy of his Germantown neighborhood, and Rogovoy and Scufca helped prove it in the midst of hard times.