Good Deed in Darnestown (Photos)


A Darnestown resident woke up the day after the Jan. 21 snowstorm to find her walkways and driveway clear of snow and ice.

This is the story about the power of a good friend and it’s the story of a local business owner who went beyond the call of duty during a week when his company’s services were in high demand.

Debbie Billings is the director of administration and human resources at Montgomery Community Media. She is also a Darnestown resident with a heart condition. Last week, her husband was admitted to the hospital as the winter snowstorm was predicted to hit our area. Because of her heart condition, she can’t shovel snow.

“I was so stressed about the storm coming and how I would be able to get to the hospital,” Billings said. She shared her concerns with her good friend, Melissa Anthony. ” I was telling my friend Melissa that I didn’t know what I was going to do.”

Melissa began doing some research and found a local business,  Greenlink, Inc.,  that offered snow removal services.

According to Melissa, within minutes of leaving a message after hours on the company’s answering machine, the owner, Mark Shekletski, called her back and said he would take care of everything.

“He said no job was too small. I have to say it was surprising. He was so very personal and went above and beyond,” Melissa said.

On Wednesday, Jan. 22, the day after the winter storm and significant snowfall, Debbie woke up to find her driveway and walkways were not only shoveled but salted as well.

“I opened the slider curtains in the family room and was amazed that our back patio was also shoveled and salted,” Debbie said. “But when I opened the garage and saw that the driveway was completely plowed and our van was shoveled out also, I was just overcome. This was such a weight off my shoulders.”

She stood in the driveway, and “cried happy tears.”

When she called her friend, Melissa, to thank her she intended to pay her back as well.

“I knew it had to be very expensive and wanted to repay Melissa for the cost,” said Debbie.

That’s when she learned that the owner would not take any money from Melissa for his services. She tried repeatedly to pay for the work but he would not take anything for it.

“He made a huge impact. It may seem like a small thing but it was a big thing to Debbie and me. One last thing to worry about during a very stressful time,” explained Melissa.

Shekletski, who has owned and operated Greenlink, Inc. for 26 years, told MyMCMedia that he was happy to help.

Debbie said she is grateful for both Melissa and Mark, and intends to pay it forward with her own random act of kindness.

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Sonya Burke

About Sonya Burke

Sonya Burke is the Multimedia Manager at Montgomery Community Media (MCM). You can email story ideas at or reach her on Twitter @SonyaNBurke.


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