It's official: Barbara and Stan Hardwick of 125 Stratford Road have the most "curb appeal" in Des Plaines.
The couple is taking home first prize in Des Plaines Mayor Matt Bogusz's inaugural Curb Appeal Challenge, which he started in April to recognize residents who take great pride in their homes.
The Hardwicks will be honored with a $1,000 check at 9 a.m. Saturday at Village Bank & Trust, 1545 Ellinwood Ave., which sponsored the prizes.
"I didn't expect it," Barbara said Thursday. "It's really neat."
Her husband entered the contest after commenting on Bogusz's Facebook post announcing the contest.
The mayor quickly responded, 'Does this mean you're going to enter?'
Seventy-nine residents applied or were nominated as contestants for one of two awards: Best Curb Appeal or Most Improved Curb Appeal.
Four finalists in each category were chosen by members of the Des Plaines Garden Club, and during the month of July, residents were able to cast votes for the winners on the city's website.
In the Best Curb Appeal challenge, 125 Stratford Road took 51 percent of the vote. The house at 306 Columbia Ave. finished second with 18 percent.
In the Most Improved Curb Appeal category, 1471 Lincoln Ave. took first place, and 155 Stratford Road finished second.
Second place winners receive $500.