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Celebrate local

On Thursday night, something slightly out of the ordinary happened at the Washington Daily News.

We had a party.

It’s not unusual to have celebrations here. We celebrate every birthday, big work anniversaries, departing coworkers and have an annual office Christmas party. But last night’s Readers’ Choice party was a little different.

Throughout the evening, hundreds of people honored in the annual contest streamed through the office, enjoying good food, good company and fellowship. Each came for a reason. Maybe they were named the most beloved teacher in Beaufort County. Perhaps their restaurant serves up the best wings in town or their car dealership has the favorite sales representative.

In any case, the people and businesses honored during the Readers’ Choice reception are important members of the Beaufort County community. As the name implies, each one was chosen not by members of the newspaper staff, but by our readers — people in the community who depend on these people and businesses on a daily basis.

So why do we do it? Why take the time to honor these folks?

In their own ways, each of these reader-selected winners makes life better for local people on a daily basis. In short, it’s because what they do matters.

As a community, it’s important to support local. It’s what keeps our area alive and thriving, and a lot of it is thanks to people like the ones honored at Readers’ Choice. So to all the winners, runners up and nominees — congratulations! We here at the Daily News appreciate you and everything that you do.