Thanks to all those who voted for me as Best Local Newspaper Columnist in Connect Savannah’s Best of Savannah 2012 readers’ poll.

For many of the winning entrepreneurs, small businesses, and even some of the large businesses, recognition like this one from Connect can buoy the spirits and boost the bottom line.

I’m not going to get paid more for the win, but it’s still an honor to know that some of Savannah’s citizens read my stuff regularly enough to vote for me. I’ve tried hard over the years in my Savannah Morning News columns to give people information they want, analyses that they might not read elsewhere, and heads-ups about things they’d otherwise never find out about.

At the same time, I’ve got to add that I’m maybe the only columnist in town writing three days a week for a print publication — so I ought to win, right? I’m not even precisely sure how many times I’ve won this honor, but I think this is #6 (but it could be #5 or #7). Btw, for the cynical who think that polls like this are always fixed, I’d point out that Connect itself has three good writers who count as columnists, yet a freelancer for a rival publication keeps winning.

For the second year in a row, I was also runner-up as a local blogger, behind Jessica Leigh Lebos for Yo Yenta.

The big awards party is always a great time, and last night it once again took place in the Morris Center at Trustees Garden. The gathering attracted a large number of winners plus their guests, which meant editor Jim Morekis — with some assistance from community editor Jessica Leigh Lebos — spent a lot of time emceeing and congratulating the honorees.

I was struck last night by the number of winners that devoted their moment or two on stage to thanking others.

This small photo gallery is in no way comprehensive (I’m an easily distracted partygoer), but I think it gives a little sense of the energy and diversity that gathers each year for Connect’s party. I’m not 100% sure of all the names here, but I’ve tried to caption them in some way — I’m obviously open to making corrections and additions. Just hover your cursor over the pic, and obviously click to enlarge.

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