KINGSTON TWP. — Gary Michak would have been honored to receive the Best Attorney of the Back Mountain award this year, wife Courtney said Tuesday.
The Best of the Back Mountain is a campaign where Dallas Post readers vote for their favorite businesses, service providers and individuals.
The program honored over 100 businesses and included a special tribute for attorney Michak on Tuesday at Fire & Ice On Toby Creek in Shavertown.
“Gary’s untimely passing on Sept. 20 devastated not only his family but the entire Back Mountain community,” said Dotty Martin, the suburban editor for the Times Leader Media Group. “Gary with his mega-watt smile was a longtime partner and friend of the Times Leader and Dallas Post. He had been voted Best Attorney for nine consecutive years.”
Michak has always taken great pride in serving the people of the Back Mountain, Courtney said.
“He loved this event,” she recalled, noting the award comes from the people and community, who he loved serving.
The first time he received the Best Attorney of the Back Mountain “he brought his children with him to the event,” she said.
Michak’s paralegal, Lauran Hall, said a wall in his office still displays all nine Dallas Post awards.
“Community always meant so much to him,” Hall said.
The goal of the Best of the Back Mountain is to celebrate the communities, the businesses and people in the Dallas Post coverage area, said Mike Murray, the publisher of the Times Leader Media Group.
Several attendees, such as Bullock Tire & Auto Parts, attorney Charles Bufalino III, Crabby’s Seafood Grill and Joey’s Landcare, received their first Best of the Back Mountain honor.
Bufalino was also named the Best Attorney of the Back Mountain.
Bill Bullock, of Bullock Tire & Auto in Dallas, was surprised when he learned customers voted the family-owned shop Best Tire Store in the Back Mountain.
“I was shocked,” Bullock said. “It just shows that a small business can compete against big chain stores.”
Will Bullock, Bill’s father and founder of the 50-year old business, said they spend very little on advertising, but they have “a lot of repeat customers.”
Crabby’s Seafood in Dallas Township earned the most votes for Best Burger in the Back Mountain.
Joey Irvin, 18, the owner of Joey’s Landcare in Shavertown, received awards for the Best Landscaper Garden Center and Best New Business.
The evening also had many longtime businesses such as Cook’s Pharmacy and Fire & Ice receive multiple awards.
Frank Lombardo, owner of Cook’s in Shavertown, received Best Pharmacy. Meanwhile, Cook’s pharmacist Jack O’Donnell was named the Back Mountain’s Best Pharmacist.
“It means a lot,” Lombardo said, adding customers recognize his employees’ hard work.
Lombardo’s wife, Michele, operator of the Sandwich Shoppe at Cook’s Pharmacy, earned the title of the Best Chef and Sandwich and Sub Shop.
Gary Edwards, a co-owner and chef at Fire & Ice, was named the Best of the Back Mountain’s Place for a First Date, Steak, Atmosphere and Wine List.
“It really means the world,” said Edwards.
He has hosted the annual event for the past nine years and found it is a great way to network with fellow business owners.
A complete listing of all the Best of the Back Mountain award winners will be published in this Sunday’s edition of the Dallas Post.