WEST SPRINGFIELD – It takes more than a pandemic to silence the reader raves of The Republican and MassLive.
The annual Reader Raves Awards took place Wednesday evening at the Eastern States Expo grounds in the form of a drive-through movie with boxed meals from Rolling Log.
“Traditionally, we would have celebrated ‘live’ at the Log Cabin last October. But COVID-19 had other plans, ”said Mark French, advertising director for The Republican. “We assembled our Reader Raves planning team to determine how we could accommodate several hundred guests to celebrate their victory in a safe environment. We came across Reader Raves – Drive-in style! After many hours of video shooting on location and in front of the green screen of our temporary 1860 Main Street studio, the Reader Raves winners program was over.
The winners arrived at Gate 9 of The Big E Field and were celebrated for their service.
In the recommended service categories, the winners were: Accounting firm, Burgess, Schultz and Robb, PC; Assisted Living Community, Landmark in Monastery Heights; Lawyer, Fitzgeralds Lawyers, PC; Auto body shop, Rick’s Autobody; Auto Repair, Tommy Car Auto Group; Bathroom renovator, kitchens and ideal bathrooms; Caterer, Creative Restoration of Hamel; Chiropractor, Maplegate Rehab; Credit Union, Freedom Credit Union; Preschool Daycare, HCS Headstart; Dentist or orthodontist, Kasperowski family dentistry; Dry cleaner, Belmont Laundry; Electrician Goodless Electric; Exterminator, American Pest Solutions; Family physician, Northampton Family Medicine; Funeral Home, Forastiere Smith Funeral Home; Home heating and air conditioning service, Hurley and David; Home renovation contractor, Keith G. Roy Construction; Remodel kitchens, kitchens and ideal bathrooms; Landscape architect, Mountain View landscaping; Local bank, PeoplesBank; Local Hospital, Baystate Hospital; Local insurance agency, Phillips Insurance; Local pet groomer, tails and tangles; Mortgage lender, PeoplesBank; Optometrist, Dr Belisa Basile; Pediatrician, Dr Lief Nordstrom; Photographer, Robert Charles Photography; Place to organize a special event wedding, log cabin; Plumber, Skibel plumbing; Pool Company, teddy bear pools; Real estate agent, Ray Hoess-Brooks; Retirement Living Community, Glenmeadow; and Veterinary Clinic, Spruce Hill Veterinary Clinic.
In the Where to Buy categories, the winners were: Appliance Shop, Manny’s; Car dealership, Beacon; CBD Shop Dispensary, INSA; Consignment store, Mimi Consignment; Flower shop, florist in Durocher; Formal wear boutique, formal affairs; Gift shop, the fragrant garden; Hardware, Rocky’s / Ace Hardware; Jeweler, Hannoush Jewelers; Locally owned furniture store, Pieroway’s; Nursery or garden center, sixteen acres; Exterior structures, Skip exterior accents; Package Store, Table & Vine: Pet Supply Store, AW Brown’s; and Big Y supermarket.
In the Fun Food and Fitness categories, the winners were: Boulangerie, Pâtisserie Cerrato; Bartender, Heather at Center Square Grill; Beauty salon, BLUE Hair & Beauty Studio; Breakfast place, memos; Burger Spot, Max Burger; Butcher, Meats of Arnold; Candy store, Maureen’s Sweet Shop; Day Spa, Puffers Salon and Day Spa; Deli, Frigo’s; Entertainment venue, MGM Springfield; Escape Room Game, Escape Game Fair puzzled The Big E; Golf course, the ranch; Homemade ice cream, Elsie’s dairy at Randall’s Farm; Indian cuisine, Pintu; Italian restaurant, Red Rose; Local family destination, Six Flags New England; Local Food Truck, Macken Sliders; Locally made cupcakes, mom’s cakes; Local microbrewery, Iron Duke; Local sports team, Springfield Thunderbirds; School of Martial Arts, Primal Krav Maga; Mexican restaurant, Frontera Grill; Museum, Springfield Museums; Neighborhood bar, Nathan Bills; Outdoor dining, Center Square Grill; Pizza Place, Rose Rouge; Place to play bingo, Fairview Knight of Columbus; Ice rink, Amelia park; Waitstaff, Center Square Grill; Wings, wings on… Westfield / Springfield; and Yoga Studio: Heartsong Yoga
In the Ask a Local categories, the winners were: Chamber of Commerce, Springfield Regional Chamber; Charity event, Tommy Car Driving for a Cure; The local representative of the town or village, Mayor Domenic Sarno; College or university, STCC; Community hero, Lucy Guiggio Carvalho – ROH; Family business, Center Square Grill; Randall’s Farm, Farm and Greenhouse Stand; High school coach, Erik Mandell; Local Band, Trailer Trash; Local Campground, Sunset View Campground; Local on-air television personality Nick Banin of 22News; Non-Profit Organization, Association for Mental Health; Choose your own orchard, Dickinson’s Farms; Place of Worship, St. Michaels in East Longmeadow; Place to Work, Association for Mental Health; Private school, Wilbraham & Monson Academy; The principal of the school, Shelley Rose of Saint-Jean-Baptiste; Teacher, Melissa Fatse of Springfield Public Schools; and city to live, East Longmeadow.