If you haven't filled out a ballot for Best of the Mountains Readers' Choice Awards, then hurry and vote for your favorite businesses by the deadline of Tuesday, April 1.
For those who don't know, this is a contest in which the people who read the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and the Lake Placid News decide which businesses they like best in a variety of categories in our local region. It is very important to the businesses because the winners get decals to put in their windows and certificates to hang inside their shops or offices, showing that the Tri-Lakes community at large thought they were the best in their field that year - the best testimonial there is.
There are 90 categories to choose from, alphabetically starting with best accountant and ending with best window display. We only ask that each person votes in 20 percent of the categories, which should be easy.
We also ask that you only submit one entry form that you personally fill out. Whatever you do, don't give your grandmother a stack of newspaper ballots to fill out with all of your friends' and relatives' names. That would be considered stuffing the ballot.
The third requirement is this: Each business you enter has to be currently operating and submitted under its current name. Some ballots have the names of businesses that changed names 20 years ago. We're not going to make guesses or assumptions about what you meant.
The best part of Best of the Mountains for us is when we go into a workplace to announce it has won and to take a staff photo. Their faces brighten up with pride as if we just announced they won the Academy Awards. There is no doubt that it is as big as that in the local perspective, judging by the piles of ballots our accounting department has to count and the numerous questions people ask us prior to the announcement.
The Best of the Mountains Readers' Choice Award winners - first, second and third places - will be announced on Friday, June 20 in a special tabloid section inside both the Enterprise and Lake Placid News.
So fill out the ballot printed in the newspaper, and if you work at a local business, don't be too surprised if one of our representatives comes up to you and says, "Smile, you've won Best of the Mountains!"