Rock Hall fi­nal­ist for ‘Nicest Place in Amer­ica’ ti­tle

Kent County News - - NEWS - By DO­RIAN MITCHELL dmitchell@thekent­coun­

— In keep­ing with its motto “Nice Peo­ple Live Here,” the Town of Rock Hall has been named a fi­nal­ist in Reader’s Di­gest’s “Nicest Place in Amer­ica 2017” con­test.

“I’m very ex­cited for this recog­ni­tion,” Mayor Brian Jones said in a tele­phone in­ter­view Thurs­day, June 22. “We all know Rock Hall is one of the nicest places in Amer­ica.”

Rock Hall is among 10 fi­nal­ists from across the coun­try.

Ac­cord­ing to the Reader’s Di­gest web­site, the “nicest place” — like towns, build­ings, parks, etc. — is where peo­ple be­lieve in “kind­ness, ci­vil­ity, and each other.” Nom­i­na­tions were re­quired to have a sin­gle ZIP code as a des­ig­na­tion.

“Neigh­bors help each other out and strangers are wel­comed as friends,” the web­site states.

He said Rock Hall was nom­i­nated by res­i­dents Kathi Done­gan and Jamie and Al­lie El­burn sev­eral weeks ago. Their on­line nom­i­na­tion shows var­i­ous pho­to­graphs and sto­ries about Rock Hall and its cit­i­zens.

“Most peo­ple will think they are be­ing mis­taken for some­one else be­cause of the Rock Hall Wave,” the town’s nom­i­na­tion states. “Whether you’re walk­ing or driv­ing, ev­ery­one gives a lit­tle sa­lute as they pass by. And be­fore long, you’re do­ing it your­self.”

The nom­i­na­tion’s sto­ries in­cluded the re­turn of Holly the dog to Rock Hall — af­ter her owner Benny Ger­lock passed away in Texas — and the con­struc­tion of the Rock Hall Com­mu­nity Crab Bas­ket Christ­mas Tree in mem­ory of lost loved ones.

It also fea­tured in­stances in which the town’s com­mu­nity came to­gether, like rais­ing money for a child di­ag­nosed with can­cer by “cov­er­ing the town in red bows” in a show of sup­port.

“I thought they were pretty re­flec­tive of Rock Hall. It’s kind of one of those vil­lages where we feel that we’re re­spon­si­ble for each other,” Done­gan said Tues­day.

She be­lieves Rock Hall’s at­mos­phere is unique and that vis­i­tors usu­ally “get it” within “about six hours” of be­ing in the town.

“It’s all about our small town charm and the will­ing­ness of any­one to help any­one else out,” Jones said. “Over­all, it’s a great place to live.”

He said vot­ers can cast their bal­lots on­line once a day through the Reader’s Di­gest web­site. Par­tic­i­pants also can use the hash­tag #Nices­tPlaceInAmer­ica for so­cial me­dia posts about Rock Hall.

“We need the whole Kent County com­mu­nity to rally be­hind us for this,” Jones said. “This is great not just for Rock Hall, but also all of the county.”

The Reader’s Di­gest web­site states that vot­ing for the con­test will end Fri­day, July 7. The win­ner will be fea­tured on the front cover of the mag­a­zine’s Novem­ber is­sue.

“Reader’s Di­gest edi­tors will con­sider the vot­ing tally and other fac­tors they deem rel­e­vant in­clud­ing, but not lim­ited to, em­bod­i­ment of the spirit of nice­ness and the kind­ness of the peo­ple in the place in de­ter­min­ing the win­ner,” the web­site states.

Jones said it will ul­ti­mately come down to peo­ple “get­ting out there” and vot­ing for Rock Hall.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Reader Di­gest’s “Nicest Place in Amer­ica 2017” or to vote, visit vote-nicest-place.

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