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For those of us involved in assembling the annual Best of the Main Line and Western Suburbs issue, it’s easy to get consumed by the enormity of the task. After all, it is our biggest project of the year, and preparations begin several months in advance.

The long and arduous process of picking winners kicks off with the inclusion of our readers’ choice ballot in Main Line Today’s January issue, and our critics start to make their rounds soon thereafter. Once the picks are finalized, so begins the equally daunting process of talking up the winners in the hundreds of profiles written to fill this issue’s pages.

Oh, and there’s also the pressing matter of a Best of the Main Line and Western Suburbs party to plan for about 2,000 guests and more than 100 winners. This year’s event, which will be held July 31 at Drexelbrook Corporate Events Center, promises to be our biggest and best ever.

And lest we forget why we’re putting ourselves through all this, there’s always some compelling reminder that comes along at the most opportune time—usually when we’re about to tear out our hair (or tear each other limb from limb). This year, it came in the form of the following letter from 2007 winner Jim Mog:

Thank you very much for the 2007 Best of the Main Line award [for Best Barbecue]. Because of you, I am about to sign a lease for 2,500 square feet of space in Malvern. An official Jimmy’s BBQ restaurant is about to happen!

Funny how a 1-inch notice can make such a difference in someone’s life. It got me to quit my job, pursue catering and open a restaurant.

What can I do for you?

Our response to Jim Mog: Just keep on doing what you’re doing—and making our job easier. With this issue, we aspire to offer you the ultimate go-to resource. And if we help a few deserving businesses like Mog’s along the way, well, all the better.

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: In our Main Line Weddings section, Megan O’Neill covers prenuptial skin care, personalized wedding websites and cool ways to go green on your big day. A former MLT intern and a recent bride herself, O’Neill also writes for Real Simple, Glamour, Self, Women’s Health and Natural Health.

Here’s to an endless summer.

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