Here are SFGN's "Best of 2018" winners in the Readers Choice category in Broward County.
Best Animal Rescue
Jan Milbyer knows a thing or two about dogs – she’s been rescuing them for the past 19 years. About 13 years she started Grateful Paws, a Tri-County area dog rescue organization.
For years local organizations in Wilton Manors have stepped up to raise funds for Grateful Paws including an annual event at Alibi in March.
Milbyer said she has seen many small rescues like her own go under over the years because it’s hard to say no to an animal in need. But what happens is these organizations can easily find themselves in a hole they can’t dig out of buried in expenses like vet bills.
“It’s just not possible to save all of them, there are just too many animals, and not enough people to do it,” she said. “It’s easy to get in over your head.”
For example, she said, they just rescued a dog that cost them $1,100 at the vet.
Grateful Paws is a foster based organization. They don’t have a facility to keep any of the dogs. Milbyer isn’t a fan of kenneling the animals.
“This way we know their temperament. We have more information to give to a potential adopter,” she said, “When people ask is Fido house broken? Does he get along with kids? Cats?”
It’s much easier to answer those questions if the dog has been living with a foster parent.
But that doesn’t mean they just give their dogs to anyone.
“We’re tough. We piss people off by turning them down for different reason,” she said. “We always look for the best home for the dog.”
Best Dentist/Dental Office
Dental Associates of Boca Raton
5295 Town Center Rd Suite 200
2404 Wilton Drive
This year, our readers return to Dental Associates of Boca Raton for a checkup.
“My team and I at Dental Associates of Boca Raton are beyond honored to be named your favorite dental office for the second year in a row,” said Dr. Michael Costabile, DMD.
When asked what made the office such a unique place to sink your teeth into, Dr. Costabile said, “It’s our goal to change how people think of the dentist and that’s what helps separate us from other experiences. We treat our patients like friends because that’s what they are to us.”
It’s their dedication to the community and to the individual that factor into why they have won Best Dentist/Dental Office for two consecutive years.
Dr. Costabile added, “We are all part of the same community and support each other. We enjoy chatting, laughing and getting to know them, while providing the best dental care possible. Our patients have spoken, stop in any time and see why we truly are and always strive to be ‘a better dental experience.’”
Smart Ride is an epic, 2-day, 165-mile ride from Miami to Key West. Held on Nov. 16 and 17, it raises millions of dollars to fund the fight to end AIDS. Smart Ride is the second-largest AIDS bicycle ride in the U.S. and the only one of its size to give back 100 percent.
Each rider must raise a minimum of $1m250. Rene Cantu is participating this year.
“I’ve been inspired by many of my friends who have done the ride at some point in the last six years that I’ve lived here,” he said. “When I did Smart Ride 11, I saw how hard it was, but I also recognized how difficult some have it who are living with HIV/AIDS. My first partner, Fernando, was poz and I witnessed the health challenges first-hand. I got involved with Smart Ride because of him.”
Cyclists of all ages are gearing up for the event.
“The challenging part is overcoming the mental obstacles I place in front of me,” Cantu said. “Completing a ride such as this one is 50 percent physical and 50 percent mental and the training must prepare both components.”
Debbie Quintana loves what she does. She believes in honesty, has a strong work ethic and considers herself a deal maker. Those traits are probably what helped t her win this year’s award for Best Realtor.
“I consider it a an honor to be chosen as Best Realtor and to be recognized by South Florida Gay News readers,” she said. “I absolutely love what I do! I believe what clients like most is my honesty, work ethic and my ownership of the transaction. I treat every deal as if it were my own. Essentially, I am a matchmaker between people and their dream homes. This is not a job to be taken lightly and I take great pride in that role. I do what it takes to make deals happen.”
This is Quintana’s first time winning. The category of Best Realtor was chosen by the readers this year.