The town of Porterdale will be receiving national publicity and a $1,000 check from Readers Digest, after being selected by the company to appear in its RV tour of 100 American towns.
The town has received public support in Readers Digest "We Hear You America" sweepstakes, where citizens from around the county vote online at wehearyouamerica.readersdigest.com for their favorite town.
Readers Digest will present the $1,000 check to Portedale Mayor Bobby Hamby on Jan. 28 at 4 p.m., said City Clerk Judy Johnson in an e-mail. He will be able to use the check for any use for the city or desired organizations, according to an e-mail.
Voters can also write stories about their hometown, including places to visit or amenities their town needs. The stories of Porterdale residents were what impressed Readers Digest judges, said spokeswoman Karen Reynolds.
"We just loved the stories that citizens were telling us in Porterdale. We felt that was terrific and that we had to visit them," she said Friday afternoon.
Porterdale had received 256 votes in the contest as of Friday evening, ranking it 486th in the county, and a handful of voters had left comments.
"Porterdale was once such a beautiful thriving little cotton mill town and is trying so hard to make a come back. This little town is in great need of recreation for the kids who live here. We once had a beautiful gym that burned several years ago. Please help to provide a recreational center for the children in our wonderful little town," Darlene Savage wrote on Dec. 27.
Roberts said the contest highlights Readers Digest's efforts to return to its roots of capturing the very best of America. Although the check is not for a large amount of money, Roberts said the company hopes it will stimulate more giving.
"The idea is that it's a start. It will also bring attention to the town and talk about how great it is, and make that information public so we can stimulate more interest and get more dollars in the community," she said.
Although Porterdale is only ranked 486th, Roberts said the town still has a chance to move into the top 10 cities, where it could receive an additional $10,000. Each resident can vote up to 10 times for her city per day, so the totals can change quickly as word spreads. Voting began Nov. 8 and will end Feb. 7.
The top vote getter is Grand Marais, Mich. at 256,270 votes, which needs a new breakwater to protect its harbor. The top city will receive $40,000.