BankGloucester donated $15,000 to 15 nonprofit community agencies, but bank officials left it up to residents to determine which local agency would most deserve the biggest boost. More than 8,000 ballots were cast.
Bank employees carried out that request yesterday by making a surprise presentation of the top $5,000 donation to Cape Ann Animal Aid, Gloucester's nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter.
Cape Ann Animal Aid is in the midst of building a new state-of-the art shelter off Essex Avenue because it has outgrown its cramped digs on Main Street.
The shelter was one of three groups to receive a grant of $1,000 or more through the bank's project.
Cape Ann Art Haven received the second prize of $3,000, while the Sail Gloucester organization a write-in candidate, received third prize of $1,000.
A dozen other organizations are receiving bank donations of $500 apiece.
The donations were chosen based on balloting by customers and residents who visited the bank lobby or voted on its Web site at www.BankGloucester.com.