Let the braggin’ begin!
In a show of unharnessed joy and a day of unrestrained elation, 174 winners of Reader’s Choice 2013 today begin Day 1 as the “Best of Bradley County,” at least for the next year. And not far behind in this parade of favorites is another 174 who finished as runners-up in their respective categories.
And in a community of more than 100,000 residents — and who knows how many businesses, civic clubs, companies, professional services and churches — second place ain’t too shabby!
Inside today’s edition of the Cleveland Daily Banner is a 40-page tabloid featuring names, photographs and additional information about all the first- and second-place recipients. This is the second annual contest whose inaugural step last year into Bradley County greatness was not only embraced by Cleveland Daily Banner readers, but seemingly adopted as a lighthearted recognition of community leaders who are making a difference.
No one stakes a claim on this being a scientific survey. It isn’t. But it is a chance for Banner readers to shine a spotlight on some of this town’s finest.
“We were amazed last year at how Banner readers, and the Cleveland and Bradley County community, accepted these Reader’s Choice awards,” said Stephen Crass, editor and publisher of the Cleveland Daily Banner. “Frankly, it was an overwhelming response that was so heartwarming that returning it in 2013 was more of a mandate.”
He added, “We thank every Banner reader who took the time to participate in the voting. Thanks to them, Reader’s Choice 2013 is another huge success. Based on its popularity these first two years, we see the sky as the limit for future ‘Best of Bradley County’ contests.”
The longtime newspaperman urged area residents to enjoy today’s special edition for what it is — a fitting, and fun, way of saluting those whose dedication to community has put them in the spotlight.
“The people, the services, the companies and all organizations who are represented in today’s special section are there for a reason,” Crass said. “That’s because other people appreciate what they do and how they do it, not just on this day or that day, but every day.”
The Reader’s Choice balloting blitz spanned 11 days in mid-May. The flurry of response — which constituted thousands of completed ballots — kept a handful of in-house tabulators busy for weeks.
Community favorites were selected in five classifications: Automotive, People, Restaurants, Services and Shopping. Each had its own select number of categories, but totaled the contest included 174.
Who’s the town’s finest investment counselor? The answer’s inside.
Who’s the best caterer? The answer’s inside.
Who’s the favored optometrist? The answer’s inside.
Who’s got the best batteries? The answer’s inside.
Who’s the most talented photographer? The answer’s inside.
Who’s the best car wash? The answer’s inside.
Who’s the friendliest insurance agent? The answer’s inside.
And who’s Bradley County’s best newspaper columnist? The answer’s ... well, actually the answer’s on the front page of today’s edition. Check out the photograph for a couple of friendly and familiar faces!
It’s all there in this annual salute.
These folks aren’t just good. These folks are the best ... the “Best of Bradley County!”