Editorial – And the Hammy winners are …

Published 5:44 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2022

It’s an exciting day for us at The Times as we unveil the winners of our second annual Hammy Awards. In today’s newspaper, you will find a 20-page special section that puts a spotlight on all of the winners.

Issues like this one are more than a fun opportunity to hand out some awards. It represents the culmination of weeks of voting and, most importantly, the celebration of the people, places, businesses and institutions that make this community special.

To say we have been blown away by the participation in this year’s iteration of our “readers’ choice” contest would be an extreme understatement. More than 2,100 people cast nearly 90,000 votes in some 200 categories spread across divisions such as Arts & Entertainment, Eating & Drinking, Health & Wellness, and Shopping.

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We hope that in addition to public recognition and a year of bragging rights, this will shine a slightly larger spotlight for those whose efforts make our local economy go and make our lives better. Simply by thumbing through this edition, you will be able to find some suggestions for where to eat or take your car, but also get a good snapshot of why Isle of Wight and Surry are wonderful places to live, work and play.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the important revenue the contest generates for your hometown newspaper in challenging economic times. While businesses and other organizations don’t have to pay a dime in order to be eligible for recognition, many use the opportunity to purchase advertising space to solicit the community’s support and to celebrate the recognition they receive. We appreciate them deeply.

The Hammys are also another chance for us to engage more closely with our readers, find out what you like and celebrate what you love. Look for many more of those opportunities in the future.

In the meantime, enjoy our second annual Hammys winners gallery. Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists. We encourage our readers to support local businesses not just during the upcoming holiday shopping season but year-round.