HOLT, Fla., Aug. 31, 2020—The votes are in and they confirmed what Holt parents knew all along.
Holt Academy is one of the finest day care centers on the Emerald Coast.
Based here with a branch in Baker, Holt Academy was a finalist as one of the top three child development centers in northwest Florida in this year’s Emerald Coast’s Finest community choice contest for 2020.
However, the accolade came as s total surprise to owners Lori and Boe Miller.
“We didn’t know anything about it,” said Boe.
They found out about the recognition when a certificate arrived in the mail announcing they were a finalist.
“The certificate just showed up—no letter or nothing,” said Boe. “There was nothing else in the envelope.”
Up to that point, they didn’t even know the contest existed.
Lori received a call earlier in the year to let her know Holt Academy had been nominated, but dismissed the call as just another sales pitch.
There was no further contact until the flat envelope with the certificate arrived.
The Emerald Coast’s Finest is a sweepstakes contest hosted by the Northwest Florida Daily News that begins in January each year where residents nominate their favorite businesses.
Nominated businesses are sorted into 166 categories prior to public voting. Once nominated, people can vote for their favorites multiple times, but only once a day, until the contest ends in March, according to the contest rules.
Businesses with the most votes are recognized as the winner. The second and third most votes are recognized as finalists and receive certificates.
According to Lori, the winning day care center has more than three times the enrollment of Holt Academy. That’s three or more times the voting possibilities than Holt academy.
“The fact we came in third is pretty good,” she said.
Especially for not knowing Holt Academy was even in the competition.
The Millers don’t know who nominated them this year, or who voted for them.
“It’s a mystery,” said Lori. But she’s thankful for her mystery fans.
“We’re very happy the community appreciates us and loves us,” she said.