uac091714001.gif In 1998, Up & Coming Weekly Publisher Bill Bowman came to his young editorial staff with a great idea.

“We are going to celebrate the best that this community has to offer,” he explained.

For those of us on staff, we were a little bewildered. We thought that was what we did every week. But Bill had a bigger plan, and over the next several weeks, planning for the first Best of Fayetteville Reader’s Poll went into overdrive.

To say that we were a little daunted is an understatement, particularly when Bill pulled out the original ballot. Compared to this year’s ballot, that one was pretty small; to us, it seemed mammoth. So we toiled for hours on end to produce that issue. Was it the best we have ever done? No, but it was a beginning.

Since that first issue, we have become more enamored with celebrating the people, organizations, locations and businesses that represent the best of the place we all call home.

I would like to say it has become a little less daunting, but that would be a lie. Remember, the ballot has grown exponentially, and the competition has become fierce. The number of ballots grows by leaps and bounds every year, and with last year’s addition of online voting, the growth has been even more phenomenal.

So while, we, as an editorial staff, have a sort of dread at this time of the year, it is overcome by our excitement. The Best of Fayetteville is truly an opportunity to recognize and recommend those people, places, organizations and businesses that make our community so unique. That makes the work worthwhile.

So enjoy this year’s edition. Peruse it. Save it.

Remember the folks who won and then pay them a visit. Let them know that you appreciate their commitment to making our community better. Let them know you saw it here. And keep your eyes open so you know who to vote for next year! Thanks for reading, thanks for voting and thanks for being part of what makes our community the best of the best.

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