DragonCon selected Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary, Georgia Conservancy and Marcus Autism Center as its official charities for 2013.

For the first time, fans of the sci-fi and fantasy convention, which takes place annually in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend, were able to vote for their favorite charity.

Voting took place from April 15 through April 28, and more than 39,000 votes were cast for the five pre-selected organizations, which also included The Salvation Army and Sheltering Arms Early Education & Family Centers.

This year, DragonCon will match every dollar it raises up to $50,000, which includes money donated at the convention and the matching funds.

Noah's Ark, a sanctuary that provides care for injured, abused and orphaned exotic animals, took 66 percent of the vote. The organizaion, which is best known for its lion, tiger and bear that share a habitat, will receive 50 percent of the money raised throughout the four-day convention.

Georgia Conservancy, a member-supported nonprofit that works to protect the state's natural resources, placed second in the poll and will receive 30 percent of the funds raised. The nonprofit launched a social media campaign calling for votes and released a variety of sci-fi- and fantasy-themed Facebook cover photos, as well as a daily meme.

Marcus Autism Center, one of the nation's leading centers for autism research, came in third and will receive 20 percent of the funds.

“We are incredibly impressed by each of these three organizations and the valuable work they do in Atlanta and across Georgia," said DragonCon Chairman Pat Henry.  “Nothing would make me happier than to raise more than $100,000 – a Dragon*Con record – to support these three organizations.”

Last year, DragonCon raised more than $45,000 for the Georgia chapter of the ALS Association.

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Laura Moss writes about a variety of topics with a focus on animals, science, language and culture. But she mostly writes about cats.

DragonCon pledges money to conservation nonprofits
Fans helped select the sci-fi and fantasy convention's official charities by voting in a poll.