In 2014 The Beacon was in its 3rd decade of publishing in Ottawa County. My nephew, Tim Willford, came on board to help us get started with a website design company known as Destination Designs. He had previously worked for the Toledo City Paper. For many years, Collette and Mark Jacobs had held a giant ceremony to honor Toledo’s “Best of the Best,” which literally attracts thousands from the Greater Toledo Business Community.
I have always liked Good Ideas, and holding our own “Best of the Best” contest sounded like a Good Idea. I had visions of grandeur about the awards ceremony, featuring evening gowns, tuxedos and, of course, a Red Carpet. The year was 2014, and Hollywood came to Ottawa County in the form of The Beacon’s “Best of the Best.”
It turned out to be a tremendous success, drawing over 100 folks for the first gala awards ceremony at Mon Ami. My wife, Mary Alice, and I made it a point to dress up and be there at the entrance to greet our guests coming down the Red Carpet. What fun!
We repeated the event at such great locations as the Catawba Island Club, The big party room at the Camp Perry Clubhouse, and again at Mon Ami right after it was purchased by Donna and Quinten Smith.
Then came 2020, and COVID-19.
Due to the severe restrictions on holding public events, we had to cancel the ceremony last year. We were sad. Mary Alice and I (along with our staff here at The Beacon) enjoyed the evening and getting all gussied up!
We were hopeful things would smooth out in 2021. They have, to a certain extent, but not totally. Which means no Red Carpet again this year.
We did, however, hold the contest again this year, and the results are inside this special section of The Beacon. Congratulations to all who won in their category, and all who got votes. This is again a celebration of how good businesses are in our community. Mary Alice and I would like to thank all of the voters and the hundreds of local businesses and enterprises who received votes again this year. Let’s get the Red Carpet back for next year!
-John Schaffner, Owner