Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Germantown couple offer flags for community goodwill, business

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Brian Lewis⁄The Gazette
Al and Mary Cardany, both real estate agents in Gaithersburg, continue their tradition of placing flags in the Milestone community in Germantown for the Fourth of July.
One Germantown neighborhood has been extra festive on the Fourth of July for the past several years thanks to the efforts of two local Realtors.

Husband and wife team Al and Mary Cardany of the Gaithersburg-based Cardany Realty Group spent last week erecting about 750 American flags in the Milestone community near the Milestone Center on Frederick Road, a tradition Al Cardany began about five years ago to increase business and do something beneficial for the community.

‘‘We’ve gotten a good amount of business in the area, but it’s more a way to give back,” Al Cardany said. ‘‘If people are going to give you business, you have to make an effort to give something back.”

The duo stuck the small flags in the grassy curb in front of each of the community’s 600 single-family houses and 150 of its townhouses, he said.

Cardany began with the just the single-family homes in the community, which also includes apartments and condominiums, but the tradition has grown every year, he said. The focus on the neighborhood is part of a business-generating strategy.

Other efforts include sponsoring annual yard sales and photos with Santa Claus, and he has distributed jars of apple butter with his picture and the realty group’s information printed on the label at residents’ doors.

The July Fourth flag campaign has been a success, Cardany said.

‘‘It just makes the community more festive,” he said. ‘‘It makes them more appreciative of the holiday.”