We editors often get so mired in the weeks-long process of producing the big Best of Delaware feature every year that we fail to note the significance of the other stories in the issue. As it turns out, almost every story in this issue represents the best of our home in some important way.
We begin with Michael Bradley’s story on Kevin Reilly, best known as a former linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles who helps inspire and motivate others by sharing how he dealt with the loss of his arm. His is a story with highs and lows and, ultimately, triumph. What is less known about Kevin is his personal investment in people, especially those who need his message most. Kevin has made a second career out of talking the talk, but Michael does a wonderful job of showing how he walks the walk.
Then, writer Mike Bederka explains what it is about Delaware that lured pharmaceutical company Incyte away from California, and how the company has made itself a good corporate neighbor by establishing the Incyte Charitable Giving Foundation. Through the foundation, the company provides $500,000 a year to support organizations that help cancer patients and their families cope with the disease. I think we would all consider that a most welcome gesture.
I’m especially pleased to present Jordan Howell’s fine story about how Delaware Shakespeare, under the direction of David Stradley—among the best and brightest of our arts leaders—has reached into underserved communities to transform lives through great works of art. The story portrays not only the riotous fun of a performance in a local senior living facility, but also shows Delaware Shakespeare Community Tour’s institutional compassion for the less fortunate. When members of the tour conduct acting workshops at Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution, the intent—indeed, the result—is to transform the lives of some of those who live there. The story shows how.
Even less obvious stories show off our better side. This month’s featured home, for example, represents some of the finest design and craftsmanship in the state while supporting a significant area resource, Friends of South Coastal Library, by appearing on the Beach and Bay Cottage Tour. The subject of our dining review, Stitch House Brewery in Wilmington, shows the kinds of great assets that can be created when diverse partners unite around a common interest. Stitch House is more than a place to eat and drink. It is a symbol of civic spirit.
Of course, we understand that the Best of Delaware feature itself is what everyone looks forward to most each July. This year, as every year, we present the places you chose as your favorites, and we celebrate the 30th anniversary of what we here consider to be the best party in the state. (It has come a long way from the days of holding it under a tent in the parking lot of a local hotel.) I’d point out that the party supports two of the best organizations committed to helping our young people, and it is sponsored by some of the best, most generous businesses.
None of that would be possible without you, who we consider the best magazine readers in the country for, among other reasons, your willingness to share your tastes and preferences with us every year. We appreciate your taking the time to complete the ballot. And we hope you’ll agree that the new nominating and voting process has resulted in the best Best of Delaware feature yet. It’s a great reason to party.
—Mark Nardone • Executive Editor