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Best of Orlando 2012

This year's Best of Orlando issue was written, edited, tallied, combined and compiled with the blood, sweat and tears of Marcus Griggs, Holly V. Kapherr, Faiyaz Kara, Seth Kubersky, Bao Le-Huu, Billy Manes, Dave Plotkin, Eleanor Roy, Justin Strout, Erin Sullivan, Aimee Vitek, Katie Westfall and Jessica Bryce Young. Rob Bartlett of was our lead photographer for this issue, and our cover model is the wonderful Jose Melendez, better known as the Diamond Exchange's Mr. Gold Orlando. Thanks to all of our readers who submitted more than 6,000 (!) ballots in this year's Readers Poll, making it our most popular Best of Orlando Readers Poll yet. We couldn't have done it without you.

Best Kept Secret

1st The Geek Easy, 114 S. Semoran Blvd., Winter Park, 407-332-9636,
2nd Central Florida Stamp and Sign, 139 E. Pine St., 407-423-2500,
3rd Al Fresco, 146 W. Plant St., Winter Garden, 407-654-5889,

Best Charitable Organization

1st Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 3319 Maguire Blvd., 407-898-0733,
2nd The Mustard Seed, 12 Mustard Seed Lane, 407-875-2040,
3rd (tie) Second Harvest Food Bank, 3522 Mercy Drive, 407-295-1066,
3rd (tie) Give Kids the World, 210 S. Bass Road, Kissimmee, 407-396-1144,

Best Local Cheerleader

1st Jeffrey Pfaff
2nd Mark Baratelli
3rd Buddy Dyer

Best Local Website


Best Local TV Newsperson

1st Martha Sugalski, WESH 2
2nd Lauren Rowe, WKMG
3rd Tom Terry, WFTV

Best Local Big shot

1st Tri-Force Mike (Pandel),
2nd Jim Philips,
3rd John Morgan,

Best Local Blog


Best Local Politician

1st Lawson Lamar
2nd Buddy Dyer
3rd Jeff Ashton

Best Local Politician in need of a slap upside the head

1st Rick Scott
2nd Buddy Dyer
3rd Alan Grayson

Best Local Publication

1st Orlando Weekly
2nd A Comic Book
3rd Wake Journal

Best Radio Personality

1st Jim Philips, Real Radio 104.1 FM
2nd Johnny Magic, XL 106.7 FM
3rd SBK, Real Radio 104.1 FM

Best Local Twitter Feed

1st @sbklive
2nd @thedailycity
3rd @thedropp

Best Local Writer

1st Scott Maxwell, Orlando Sentinel
2nd Billy Manes, Orlando Weekly
3rd Lindsay Hitchcock,

Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners

1st Walt Disney World
2nd Park Avenue in Winter Park
3rd A Comic Shop,
114 S. Semoran Blvd., Winter Park, 407-332-9636,

Best Reason to Live in Orlando

1st The weather
2nd A Comic Shop
3rd Walt Disney World

Best Reason to Leave Orlando

1st The weather
2nd Tourists
3rd Crime

Best Use of Taxpayer Money

1st Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
2nd Amway Center
3rd Lake Eola Fountain improvements

Best Waste of Taxpayer Money

1st Amway Center
2nd Citrus Bowl improvements
3rd Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Personal Best

1st The Barter Network,
2nd Lake Eola
3rd A Comic Shop


(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)



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