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Awards to honor those who make community better

by Judith Hruz


The recipients of this year’s Greater Olney Civic Association (GOCA) Awards say they are grateful for the chance to help the community.

“As I put this year’s ballot together, I was struck by the level of dedication to serving the community of the winners, and that the level was not limited  by age,” said Helene Rosenheim, who served as GOCA’s president the past year and has served in several other volunteer positions in the community for decades.

“From our Youth awardee, who has done amazing things all through her high school years, to our Citizen of the Year, a family man in the mid years of his career and for whom his accomplishments of this past year were not atypical, but reflective, of the work he has done for Olney for many years, to our Heritage Award winner with decades of service to our community, it was clear that for them, our other winners and many in Olney, service is a lifetime commitment that enriches their lives and the lives of all who live in Olney.”

The GOCA Awards, handed out each year in March, will be presented at 3 p.m. March 10 in the dining room of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School. A reception will be held at 2 p.m.

The community is invited to attend.

The Olney Civic Fund will award a number of grants to local organizations and this year the Olney Chamber of Commerce will be part of the ceremony and present several of its own awards. Those awards will be handed out at the ceremony.

The event is now called the Greater Olney Community Award Ceremony because it involves a broader range of the community than just those recognized by GOCA.

GOCA corresponding secretary Jamie Goad is symbolic of those who are dedicated to serving.

“I was honored to be named GOCA’s Worker of the Year,” she said. “I think that getting involved locally is the best way to make a change in your community and I am so happy that GOCA allowed me to do that using my technical skills.”

Julie Abramson, who will receive a Contribution to the Community Award, said she was “happily surprised” to learn of her selection, but that she is honored to give back to the community.

“Working behind the scenes and making the Olney area a better place one design at a time is my way of giving back to the community,” said Abramson, who began creating graphic designs for Olney Civic Fund and its Olney Days festivities, along with other events, two years ago, and has not stopped. “Also, I enjoy working on the various projects too.”

Mindy Badin, a longtime community activist and volunteer, will also receive a Contribution to the Community Award.

“The initial reaction was shock, and I think I am still in shock,” she said of learning of her selection. “But I am also extremely honored to have been nominated and then selected for the award.”

She added, “If you had told me five years ago that I would be providing testimony to county and state legislators regarding roadway safety, and that I would be on a first-name basis with our local politicians, I would have thought you were nuts,” she said. “But the loss four years ago of our 32-year-old son Brett as he was crossing the street has led me to work to promote pedestrian safety. I don’t consider myself a ‘mover and shaker.’ I am just a regular citizen whose personal tragedy has led me to participate in a cause that affects us all. Hopefully my presence in front of the county and state legislators reminds them of the importance of roadway safety.”

Other award winners include:

Curtis Chappell, GOCA second vice president — Howard J. Garber Memorial Citizen of the Year Award

Oncology Team of MedStar Montgomery Medical Center – Contribution to the Community Award

Vittoria Satterien — Youth Contribution to Community

Ruth Filbert, volunteer with Olney Help since 1991 — Ronald Berger Memorial

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