A note to our readers/voters:

How does the old saying go?

Was it “vote early, vote often?”

Well, they may have well said it about you, Ahwatukee Foothills residents, because that’s exactly what you did.

As we put the finishing touches on this year’s Ahwatukee Foothills News Best of 2009 special edition, we were awestruck by how invigorated you, our readers, were toward this year’s contest.

Fourteen-thousand and sixty-two, 14,062! That’s how many times you voted this year — a clear record by any estimation for this annual showcase. That also included a record 3,000-plus ballots on the first day of voting alone.

We’ve been producing this special Best Of section annually for longer than any of us here at the AFN can truly remember, and we can promise it was well before the existence of ahwatukee.com that you started telling us what businesses and individuals you wanted to honor each year.

Every year, first through the old paper ballots you used to ink up and mail to us, and, more recently, exclusively through online voting at ahwatukee.com, turnout has steadily increased. But we’ve never seen a response like this. Some of us liken it to the continued rise of the Internet, and your support of our efforts to break news, produce multimedia content, and provide special features at ahwatukee.com.

Derek Miller, owner of Grass Guys, winners of this year’s “Best Landscaping/Yard Service” category, thinks there’s more to it.

“Maybe it’s an indication of the economy,” Miller points out, adding that we all seem so consumed by getting value for every last dollar — and understandably so — that we’ve jumped at the chance to try give something back to — our votes — those businesses and local individuals that work so hard for us year-round.

Whatever the reason, we’re glad you participated, and can’t wait to see another record turnout next year. We thank you for your annual participation, and we can assure you the businesses you voted for are grateful as well!

Enjoy this year’s edition, and don’t forget, you can find everything you see here in this commemorative edition online year-round at ahwatukee.com.


— Ahwatukee Foothills News / ahwatukee.com staff



'Special Service' Categories:FEATURE: Best New Business 2009 | Rehab Plus AhwatukeeFEATURE: Best Customer Service | Billy Woodmansee (Pro Edge Performance)FEATURE: Best Mom and Pop | The BAR Fitness (Owners Tracie and Brad Rogers)FEATURE: Best Teacher | Sarah Elliott (Kyrene de la Colina Elementary)FEATURE: Best Waiter/Waitress | Cody Wood (CK's Tavern and Grill)FEATURE: Best Bartender | Billy Woodmansee (Fired Up Grill)

Services:Best place to get your car fixedBest dry cleanerBest real estate agent / agency

Health / Wellness / Beauty:Best place to work outBest pediatricianBest dentistBest orthodontistBest medical doctorBest medical practiceBest eye examBest skin careBest hair salonBest nail salonBest place to get a massage

Dining / Entertainment:Best Italian foodBest Asian foodBest Mexican foodBest dessertBest breakfastBest pizzaBest wingsBest place to watch the gameBest sandwichBest lunch spotBest burgerBest place to eat with the kidsBest place for an evening outBest place to see live musicBest happy hourBest place to have dinnerBest grocery storeBest place to dance

Pets:Best pet trainingBest pet groomingBest pet servicesBest veterinarian

Home Improvement:Best plumberBest pool serviceBest landscaping/yard serviceBest handymanBest cleaning service / carpet cleanersBest painter

Education:Best Preschool

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