Rochester Mayor Stuart Bikson, center, and City Beautiful Commission Chair Jeanine Offer Krupp, right, present Matthew Vazana with a Good Neighbor Award.

Rochester Mayor Stuart Bikson, center, and City Beautiful Commission Chair Jeanine Offer Krupp, right, present Matthew Vazana with a Good Neighbor Award.

Photo provided by the Rochester City Beautiful Commission

Matthew Vazana awarded for being a good neighbor

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published April 3, 2024


ROCHESTER — Whether it’s plowing the sidewalks and driveways in his community or assisting elderly neighbors, Rochester resident Matthew Vazana is always there to lend a helping hand.

For his many efforts, Vazana was recently presented with a Good Neighbor Award by the Rochester City Beautiful Commission.

The Good Neighbor Award, commission members said, recognizes the ongoing efforts of Rochester residents who are making contributions to improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods. The program is designed to honor those who make a difference in the community without seeking or receiving recognition for their service.

Rochester City Beautiful Commission Chair Jeanine Offer Krupp said Vazana was nominated for the award by two of his neighbors.

“We accepted (the first) nomination, and then we received another one for the same person — which has not happened before,” she said.

The first nomination was sent in by Gail Pietrzyk, who said Vazana “has exemplified what it means to be a good neighbor in Rochester, not only to the people living around him, but to the community as well.”

Some of the things that Vazana is known for include helping neighbors take care of their yard and property when they were unable to do so, plowing snow on driveways and sidewalks, and even teaching a neighbor how to walk their son’s dog while he was away.

“Matt has helped with leaf blowing, snow blowing and quite literally picked up an elderly neighbor who had fallen while attempting to clean up their yard after a severe snowstorm. He has helped with trees being down,” Pietrzyk said in her nomination letter. “Matt is an outstanding neighbor and therefore I am nominating him for the Good Neighbor Award. His involvement with his immediate neighbors and local community has a positive impact.”

Robert Teitler also nominated Vazana because he believes good neighbors who try to make life better for everyone should be recognized.

“Matt has helped with plowing the snow along the sidewalks and driveways, cleaning yards when tree and debris has fallen, trimming the trees that interfere with wires, and moving heavy materials off a porch when somebody had a basement issue with a flood,” he said in his nomination form.

Vazana accepted the award during the March 25 Rochester City Council meeting.

“We’ve actually lived in the Rochester community for 22 years now, but we moved downtown, and we’re lucky enough to end up with some wonderful neighbors,” he said. “I guess Muhammad Ali said it best: Service to others is the rent we pay for our room here on Earth, so I’m just trying to pay it forward.”

Members of the City Beautiful Commission say Rochester is beautiful because of the many good neighbors who continually go above and beyond, and the commission encourages people to nominate adults or youth who enhance their neighborhood in a significant way.

Nominees must be Rochester residents, but they must not be employed by the city, and they must have made a significant contribution to their community. The nominators will be asked to describe, in 400 words or fewer, why they think the people they are nominating deserve the award. Those selected will be recognized at a City Council meeting and will receive a plaque and a gift card to downtown Rochester.

For more information, email the City Beautiful Commission at