Rock Hall finalist for ‘Nicest Place in America’ title
— 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 www.rd.com/ vote-nicest-place.