COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The winners have been chosen in the WTVM Give 9 Allstars competition. Three local charities have been campaigning for votes over the last several weeks hoping to win a big share of a more than $5,000 dollar prize.
Hundreds of text votes were cast and the charity with the most votes and the winner of a $3,000 check is Animal Ark Rescue of Columbus.
Animal Ark Rescue Executive Director Sabine Stuhl says the money will go a long way in the shelter's mission of helping animals in need.
"We are doing a lot of intake during the height of kitten season, so this will tremendously help with the vaccinations of kittens," says Stuhl.
The East Alabama Humane Society in Phenix City came in second place, winning $2,000, and in third place, taking home a $500 check is Reach 4 Your Dreamz Inc. of Columbus. Both charities were excited about their winnings and how the money will help.
"We are looking to expand our intake room to where we have isolation when the new animals come in. We have to isolate them for disease quality control," said Carolyn Harrelson, Director of the East Alabama Humane Society. The no-kill shelter in Russell County got the second highest votes.
Third place winner, Reach 4 Your Dreamz, Inc. says the money will help fund an annual Christmas party and toy giveaway for needy children.
"It's one of our biggest events of the year, so most of the money that we're collecting now, especially this donation will go toward that," said Gwennetta Wright, CEO of Reach 4 Your Dreamz Inc.
Headquarter Nissan sponsored the first and second place prizes. Owner Terry Bell says he's excited for the opportunity to give back to the community.
"You get more by giving than receiving, says Bell, "so having the Give 9 Allstars you can see the excitement and it's just really neat to see the expression on people's faces when you give back."
Chuck Busch of Southeast Enterprise Group (S.E.E.) provided the third place prize. Busch says his company also looks for ways to help those in need in the community.
"Once I had a paradigm shift in contributing and becoming a part of charities and actually doing it. It doesn't go away and you realize how much need there is out there," Busch says.