FAIRFIELD — Representatives from businesses and organizations deemed ‘the best of the best’ were honored at a reception Tuesday evening at Carter Hall at Kennebec Valley Community College.

The 73 businesses who were voted as first in their categories were chosen by readers of the Morning Sentinel via a write-in ballot. A special section in the newspaper served as a ballot for participants to write in their favorite business for categories, such as best clothing store or best dance club, and mail in their answers. There was also a corresponding form for on the paper’s website readers could fill out to vote.

All of the first-place winners were invited to the reception to enjoy food catered by KVCC and drinks, and to receive their plaques.

“What’s great about this is it’s demonstrating that we all take care of each other (in Waterville),” said Chris Guance, of Central Maine Auto Group, which was voted best car dealership and auto service in the Waterville area.

“We sell and service cars, but what we do most importantly is take care of people and build relationships. Tonight’s recognition to the staffs at the dealerships,” Guance said.

John Dalton, the president of Inland Hospital in Waterville, said the event was a testament to his organization’s staff.

“They come to work every day to provide outstanding care to our patients and treat everyone like they’re a member of their family,” Dalton said. “I think that’s recognized an appreciated.”

Kim Mclain, the flooring manager of H.T. Winters Co.’s Winslow office, said it’s an honor to be able to support the community.

“It’s an honor that they’re recognizing our customer service,” she said.

KVCC’s president gave the opening remarks and congratulated all of the winners and nominees.

“Anybody who is on the list is really quite worthy,” Hopper said, adding, “This is a phenomenal community and we’re lucky to be a part of it.”

Among some of the winners were Loyal Biscuit for best pet store, Fairfield Antiques Mall for best antiques store, The Bankery in Skowhegan for best bakery, Waterville’s Selah Tea for best coffee and breakfast shop and School Street Yoga in Waterville for best yoga studio.

All of the winners were announced and invited on stage to receive a plaque and have a photograph taken.

The event was co-sponsored by the Mid-Maine, Skowhegan and Franklin County chambers of commerce.

Copies of a special section of the Sentinel highlighting all of the first-, second- and third-place winners of the Best of the Best Readers Choice Awards are available at the Sentinel’s office on Front Street in Waterville.

Emily Higginbotham — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @EmilyHigg

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