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Md. retirement community made the most of Jonas

January 28, 2016
by Nicole Stempak, Associate Editor
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Staff at a Maryland retirement community couldn’t get to work during the Winter Storm Jonas, so they volunteered to stay at work.

"All the people stayed over," resident Mary Charuhas, 92 says to The Frederick News-Post. "I thought it was wonderful."

Nearly 200 residents and staff at Country Meadows of Frederick made the most of the storm. They watched "The Sound of Music" and threw a beach party complete with music by the Beach Boys while Jonas dumped more than 2 feet of snow on the East Coast.

Last week, Executive Director Carol Ditman asked employees if they would stay on-site in case the storm hit. More than enough support staff volunteered to stay the weekend, and a few dedicated employees walked to work.

Forty-two employees spent the night Friday when staffing is typically nine workers. Employees slept in empty rooms, on fold-out sofas in some residents’ quarters, in the recreation room and in spare rooms of the independent living apartments, Ditman says. Two employees who stayed in one resident’s spare bedroom found mints on their pillows.

A maintenance crew of three kept essential equipment clear and repaired brief water heater failures. Two of the facility’s mechanical snowblowers gave out, so Ditman says the staff took all took turns shoveling. 

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