large group at boa

Award winners packed the conference room at Best Western Mountain Lodge in Banner Elk. More than 150 awards were part of the Inaugural event.

BANNER ELK — The Avery Journal-Times and Mountain Times Publications held its award ceremony for the inaugural Best of the Best in Avery County on Aug. 27.

More than 150 awards were distributed to community companies and organizations after an extensive, months-long polling process teased out the county’s favorites.

The conference room at Best Western Mountain Lodge in Banner Elk was packed with recipients.

Inside this week’s edition readers will find photos from the evening highlighting the ceremony and dinner, which featured Avery County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Melynda Pepple as the keynote speaker.

Pepple spoke about what makes the people in the room the best. Honesty, loyalty, setting a good example and the ability to overcome adversity were some of the qualities Pepple highlighted.

“You have integrity,” Pepple said. “You walk in integrity, that’s why you’re here.”

Kindness and positivity were some of the other qualities Pepple highlighted.

The presentation also featured some brief comments from MTP Group Publisher Gene Fowler and MTP Advertising Director Charlie Price.

AJT Marketing Consultant Henry Volk helped with the presentation of the awards.

“The group represented at this year’s inaugural event represents the cream of the crop when it comes to the very best in what Avery County has to offer,” AJT editor Jamie Shell said of the event. “This event could not be possible without our sponsors, the incredible businesses and organizations represented that are the lifeblood of industry and service both within and beyond the borders of our county and, of course, the people of our area who submitted ballots to express their support, approval and appreciation for those whom we are honoring.”

Shell also delivered an invocation at the beginning of the ceremony.

Gadabouts Catering Services provided the food for the evening with the musical talent of Steve and Susan Frank on display for the evening’s entertainment.

After winners received their certificates, they were guided to a photography set in the hotel’s dining room where their achievements were chronicled.

Inside this week’s edition readers will find a special section featuring photos of all the award winners at the ceremony.

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