• Nov 15, 2019, 13:28 PM

Gurnee Recognizes MISSION BBQ and Honey Orthodontics as “Best of Gurnee”

GURNEE, IL – The Village of Gurnee has named MISSION BBQ (6430 Grand Avenue #101) and Honey Orthodontics (6071 Washington Street #1) as the 2019 Best of Gurnee Award Recipients.

Inspired by Village of Gurnee Trustee Tom Hood in 2016 as a way to recognize businesses that go above and beyond to support their customers and the community, nominations are accepted year-round for businesses that exemplify the absolute Best of Gurnee. Nominations are accepted in two categories - “Bringing Me Home” and “Pay It Forward”.  A Selection Committee comprised of Village Board; Economic Development Committee; and Gurnee Chamber of Commerce representatives choose recipients each year prior to the State of the Village event.

The Bringing Me Home award is intended to recognize a business that fosters community pride by infusing excellence into its business operations with evidence of long-term, sustained commitment to its customers and the community

The Pay It Forward award acknowledges a business that is recognizing needs within its community and is meeting them head on.

After a review of the recommendations, the Best of Gurnee Selection Committee felt that the nominations for MISSION BBQ and Honey Orthodontics were perfect candidates for the awards.

"Bringing Me Home" Award Winner MISSION BBQ  has made its mark on Gurnee in a relatively short period of time having opened less than two years ago, but, as one nominator indicated, “they hit the ground running and reached out to inquire how they could help, before they were even open”. 

MISSION BBQ lives out its mission.  MISSION BBQ has donated meals for events held at the Gurnee American Legion Post 771, at the VA Center in North Chicago, and at Lake County Honor Flight’s Welcome Home ceremonies when our veterans return from their well-earned trips to Washington D.C.   Meals are donated to Veterans Reunions where 150-200 of our local heroes are able to share stories and memories.  Financial support is provided for Wreaths Across America, honoring veterans who are no longer with us.

As one nominator points out, “this company doesn’t do this to be applauded but to show their appreciation to the men and women who so proudly have served and continue to serve.  They do it to show their commitment and allegiance - to our community and our country.”  

Mission BBQ

Pictured from left to right: Trustee Tom Hood, Trustee Karen Thorstenson, American Legion Past Commander and Auxiliary Member Terry Waddell-Moenter, MISSION BBQ, and Mayor Kristina Kovarik


"Pay it Forward" Award Winner HONEY ORTHODONTICS has been visible in the community for many years, in many ways.  As one nominator noted:  “This business recognizes the importance of community involvement in order to make Gurnee the very best it can be.”

Community events such as Frosty Fest, Touch a Truck, and the Gurnee Park District’s Trick or Treat Path rely upon sponsorships, and Honey Orthodontics has been a consistent supporter.  An active participant in Gurnee Days, Honey Orthodontics sponsors the Gurnee Community Pageant’s Sweetest Smile award; and its creative, entertaining float entries heat up the competition in each year’s Gurnee Days Parade! 

Honey Orthodontics participates in fundraising and health education events for local School Districts 50 & 56, collections for the Warren Township Food Pantry and Toys for Tots, and provides an annual scholarship to a Warren Township High School District 121 senior pursuing a career in medicine. Taking the spirt of service beyond the borders of Gurnee, members of the team have even traveled to Kenya in order to provide much needed health care to orphaned children. 

Dr Honey

Pictured: Dr. Oana Honey and staff of Honey Orthodontics accepting the “Pay it Forward” Award

The next round of Best of Gurnee awards will be presented in Fall 2020.  Nominations are accepted year-round, and all previous nominations are considered. To nominate a business for a Best of Gurnee award, fill out the application at