So, the summer is half over. Have you done anything fun? How about a trip or at least a day trip, even if it is to your back yard?

Experts tell us we need to take some time off and relax. Heck, I might even do it myself.

We have been working on something fun and hope you all want to help us.

With the coronavirus and its fallout putting a damper on everything, we decided it’s time to let businesses, professionals and organizations in our community know we appreciate what they do, day in and day out.

We are launching a Reader’s Choice contest later this week on our website and we need your help.

There are over 90 categories on our nomination ballot and we want to hear from you. The categories are in seven groups: eating and drinking; arts and entertainment; health and fitness; local; services; shopping and sports and recreation.

Here’s how it works. Starting this Friday, go to and nominate the place with the best appetizer to the best local park. You don’t have to nominate in every category, you can only do one if you like. The website has a tool that will find the correct spelling and location of the place you are nominating.

The nomination period runs from July 24 – August 3. After we have our ballots set, we will move on to the actual voting to determine who has the best hamburger in Burnett County. If we receive two or more nominations in a category, that category will appear on the ballot. If only one nomination is received, the category won’t be on the voting ballot. It’s not because the one person who was nominated isn’t deserving, we believe to have a contest, you need to have more than one participant. So if you are nominating in a category where there might not be a lot of choices, perhaps nominate a second person or place.

Voting on the ballot will run from August 14 – September 10. The ballot will be in the same spot, www.burnettcountysentinel/bestof. You will be able to vote once every 24 hours.

When voting closes on September 10, we will tally the results and prepare a special section of the Sentinel to announce the winners. All winners will be announced October 21.

What will the winners get? We will provide a certificate and window cling to the winners and a logo that the person or business can use to promote themselves.

More importantly, they will have what everyone truly wants in life: bragging rights.

When coronavirus entered our lives this spring, we learned to appreciate the local people who do so much to make our community a great place to live. There are many ways we can support them, nominating and voting for them as the best at what they do is a simple, yet meaningful gesture.

The entire contest will be conducted online, there are no paper ballots.

The contest is meant to be good natured fun and a way to recognize all of the little things that make our area special. Please join me in taking some time to nominate your favorites, starting Friday.

We will be holding more contests in the months to come. Let me know what you think of the contest and your experience.

As always, I welcome your comments. You can reach me by email at, telephone 715-268-8101 or write me at P.O. Box 424, Amery, WI, 54001.

Thanks for reading I’ll keep in touch. Feel free to do the same.