By CHRIS AGEE
Actress Patty Lotz is leading a campaign to help local non-profit Bat World Sanctuary establish a new home for bats currently residing in downtown Mineral Wells.
According to Bat World President Amanda Lollar, a social media contact suggested she enter the BiLLe Celeb Challenge.
"We have a pretty big Facebook following," she said, including "a couple of celebrities ... I wasn't aware of."
Lollar said she entered her organization in the contest about a week ago and almost immediately saw an outpouring of support.
"Within a week we went from a ranking of 300 to number four," she explained. As of Monday afternoon, Bat World remained at that position.
Though she hopes to finish this round of voting with the highest number of votes, Lollar said the contest is unique in allowing numerous charities to win.
After the current wave of voting ends at the end of January, she said all remaining charities advance one position and continue in the contest.
"At some point we will win this," she said.
The winning prize varies, she said, explaining most previous winners received between $13,000 and $25,000 and prizes can possibly grow much larger.
She said all money received through this contest will be added to the budget to construct the new rescue facility, adding Bat World is also involved in another contest with the same goal.
"The other contest is the Mozilla Firefox Challenge," she said. "We've been working on that since November and we're currently in first place."
She said the contest is based on amount of money raised, explaining Bat World will keep those donations even if the organization does not finish in first place.
"It will at least get us a really good start on the new facility so we can move the sanctuary out to the country."
Anyone interested in supporting Bat World Sanctuary can vote for the organization online by visiting www.thebille.com/bille-celeb-charity and searching for celebrity sponsor Patty Lotz.
Those wishing to donate to the Firefox Challenge contest can do so by visiting www.crowdrise.com/batworldsanctuary2012.
More information on Bat World Sanctuary and its services can be found on the group's website, www.batworld.org.