If you are called the best in town, you must be doing something right.
The Best of Liberty 2016 awards, sponsored by the Coastal Courier, honored some of Liberty’s best businesses and public servants with a ceremony and reception Thursday at Bradwell Park during the Farmers Market.
The annual reader’s choice contest asks for residents to vote for their favorite business, organizations and community members in various categories, such as Best Hotel, Best Photographer and Best Church.
Kathryn Fox, Coastal Courier business manager, said that more than15,000 people voted for their favorites in Liberty.
As each winner was called the audience, which included community members, families and local officials, clapped and cheered as people received their award.
After the ceremony, winners had an opportunity to take photos and do an interview, to thank the people who voted.
Dr. Seth Borquaye of Liberty Regional Medical Center won Best OB/GYN.
"This is very important because this is by the community, this is by your patients who you see, who have confidence in you that you’re doing a good job." Borquaye said. "It’s very important when the people you see, the community, think of you to bestow such an amazing honor on you."
Borquaye has won for the past six years and each time is a surprise.
"Every time it’s so exciting because it means that every year I’m still continuing to do such a fantastic and amazing job and that just pushes me to do more and more," he said. "I want to thank the community for having confidence in me and trust their care to me because when you are not a woman physician it’s not very easy, it’s a difficult field, and for patients I take care of to have that confidence in me and to think I’m the best of the best, words cannot describe how elated I am."
Liberty County High School Teacher Lauren Hale won for Best Teacher/Instructor. She has taught in Liberty for around seven years.
"I was really shocked whenever I first heard that I was nominated and then whenever I won," Hale said. "It’s just really awesome to be awarded for the hard work and dedication. Out of all the schools in Liberty, to be recognized as one of the best it’s really an honoring moment. It’s really humbling."
Her husband Casey Hale also won for best car salesman. He works at Vaden Nissan of Hinesville. She said it was nice for the Hales to be honored by the community that they give back to.
The best apparel, clothing store went to Molly Maxine.
"This is our second year in business and for us to be recognized by the community as contributing something to the community makes us very proud," Molly Maxine owner Cathy Thomas said. "We want to bring something new and unique to Hinesville—that’s our goal. We thoroughly enjoy all of our customers."
With the market going on in the background, attendees listened to music, signing and had the opportunity to visit the different vendors.
All the Best of Liberty winners are listed in the August September edition of Liberty Life Magazine and in a special newspaper supplement.