A total of 36,848 votes were cast for 35 nonprofit organizations during the Merchants Bank "Growing Community" $10,000 Facebook giveaway.

The giveaway ran from Nov. 5 to Dec. 15, and the organizations were spread across the area served by Merchants' 18 locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The top three vote getters were first, Gateway Area Council Boy Scouts of America of Onalaska, which will receive $1,525; second place went to Blackl Dirt Theater of Hastings, receiving $975; and in third place was the Winona Area Humane Society in St. Charles with $868.

Funds are based on the votes received and will be awarded to the organizations in the near future.

Local and area charities also received a portion of the proceeds. In Houston County is the Bluff Country Artist Gallery of Spring Grove $189, Caledonia Community Celebrations $100, Caledonia Lions $277, Camp Winnebago of rural Caledonia $584, ISD 300 Scholarship Foundation of La Crescent, Hokah $115, La Crescent Animal Rescue $547, La Crescent Public Library $314, Spring Grove Public Library $536 and Ye Olde Opera House of Spring Grove $415.

"The response was enthusiastic from organizations of all different sizes. It was gratifying to see smaller organizations organize their support across different platforms, especially social media," said Mark Metzler, Media and Communications Officer at Merchants.

"It is fair to say that the response exceeded our expectations for the giveaway, and that we will strongly consider doing this again in the future."

Supporters of organizations could vote up to three times a day at the Merchants Bank Facebook page, and they were encouraged to "share" their support with friends.

"The best part of the giveaway is that members of the communities we serve were able to help us direct our community giving through the votes they cast," Metzler said.

"This is consistent and supports what our bank presidents do with the funds they reinvest into their communities."

A complete list of votes received and money awarded during the giveaway is available at Merchants Bank's Facebook page www.facebook.com/MerchantsBank