We refer, of course, to the results of the 2012 Reader’s Choice Awards published in Sunday’s edition within our special supplement. Winners and runners-up were announced in 174 categories, and we congratulate them all! They are a well-deserving group and each has earned some braggin’ rights; at least, for the next year because the Reader’s Choice Awards will become an annual festivity and a friendly competition within our hometown community that continues to live up to its new slogan as “The City With Spirit.”
Likewise, we thank the several thousand readers who participated in this inaugural event that far exceeded our expectations. For those who missed Sunday’s edition, copies are still available at the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, our variety of advertisers who sponsored the supplement and at the Banner office located at 1505 25th St. The Reader’s Choice Awards section may also be viewed online at www.clevelandbanner.com.
For the few who don’t know, the 2012 Reader’s Choice Awards is our newspaper’s first endeavor to allow readers to identify their favorites within the Cleveland and Bradley County community. Those who cast ballots had plenty of categories from which to choose.
For instance, according to our newspaper readers:
State Rep. Eric Watson, R-Cleveland representing the 22nd Legislative District, is our community’s most favored politician. Sha’Ree Morgan of Michigan Avenue is the best elementary school teacher. Darleah Beard at the Center for Cosmetic Dentistry is the best dental hygienist.
Tammy Ledford at Bradley Healthcare & Rehab Center is the best nurse; Bradley Healthcare & Rehab Center was named the best employer; and the Rev. Larry Cockerham at Living Word Fellowship was named best pastor.
The best caterer is Impressions; Howard Hamilton at Bradley Veterinary Hospital was selected the finest vet; and Mickey Torbett over at United Community Bank was tabbed best banker.
Speaking of financial institutions, mortgage lender honors went to Traci Hamilton at Bank of Cleveland, and Annette Myers at Southern Heritage Bank is the best teller.
Plenty of additional honors among individuals included Bill Owens, plumber; Darren Brantley, car salesman; Lori Balmer, optometrist; Brooklyn McDermott, photographer; Brandon Forrester, chiropractor; Ralph Buckner Jr., funeral director; Kelvin Bishop, accountant; and a boatload of others brought home some honors.
Companies and organizations took the spotlight as well. For instance, Don Ledford Automotive Center claimed eight first-place awards in auto services; Southern Heritage is the best bank; Park Oak is the finest apartment complex; and First Baptist Church is the best church or worship center.
Among others: best barbeque, Jordan’s; best pizza, Marco’s; best buffet, Golden Corral; best chicken, KFC; best steak, Logan’s; best ice cream, Dairy Queen; best sandwich shop, Jenkin’s; best burger, Five Guys Burgers & Fries; best dog, Mark’s Doghouse; and lots more!
Best overall local business? That would be En Vogue, according to our responding readers.
Even our Banner news staff entered the arena. Lifestyles Editor William Wright is favored as the best newspaper columnist for “Wright Way,” followed by Associate Editor Lucie R. Willsie for her “Who Knew?” weekly opinion piece.
Our readers’ list of favorites contains many, many more names of individuals, companies, services and organizations.
We congratulate them all and we thank thousands of readers who participated in this fun event whose sole purpose was some friendly competition, leading to some lighthearted braggin’ rights.
Enjoy your year of accolades and get ready for 2013!