Patton High School senior Nikita McClure organized a fundraiser in December to make the holidays a little bit happier at Burke County Friends for Animals.
Pet owners from Morganton submitted festive photographs of their animals, and people were welcome to vote on their favorite ones by donating coins into labeled collection jars at The Natural Olive Co., now named The Olive of Morganton, or sending their votes via online donation. The fundraiser earned $400, which was directly donated to Friends For Animals. Raleigh Ripley won the most votes, receiving the grand prize. She was followed closely by Phoebe Gessner in second place, and Sophie Cooke in third. The prizes for the top three winners were made possible by the donations of these local businesses: Paws and Claws, Dogs Unleashed, Mountain Gallery and Gifts, West Union Art Studio, Morganton General Store, Adventure Bound Books, and Greenway Pizza.