Nine trees prove tops in American Tobacco challenge

Dec. 22, 2013 @ 11:10 PM

Animals proved popular with voters in the fourth annual Triangle Christmas Tree Challenge.

On Sunday, American Tobacco officials announced the nonprofits that won prizes thanks to online voting. The website brought in 27,000 online votes and text messages for 58 nonprofits that put trees on display at Diamond View Park.

The $5,000 first prize went to SPCA of Wake County. Second prize, $2,500, went to Coalition to Unchain Dogs. Best Friend Pet Adoption took third prize, with an award of $1,000.

“In our fourth year, the Triangle Christmas Tree Challenge emerged as a true holiday destination,” said Michael Goodmon, vice president for real estate at Capitol Broadcasting Company, which owns American Tobacco. “These nonprofits give so much to our community. We’re proud to help give back. And we’re thrilled to be heading into the campus’ 10th anniversary year with such an outpouring of community support.”

Special judges’ awards went to American Dance Festival, Water Spots and the Durham Interfaith Hospital Network.

Three Celebrity Choice Awards of $1,000 each also were announced:

  • Goodmon selected Museum of Life and Science.
  • George Mosca of Mosca Design chose the Durham Economic Resource Center.
  • Wayne Branch of LSGII picked Women’s Birth and Wellness Center.

The trees will remain on display through Jan. 3.

For more about the challenge, the prize winners and other nonprofits involved, visit