Valor Ranch tree wins $2,500 for homeless veterans

Valor Ranch of Smithville, an upstart charity, competed in a Christmas tree decorating competition at Ameristar Casino in Kansas City with other area nonprofits and won $2,500 for its effort to help homeless veterans get back on their feet. "It was so exciting," founder Debbie Childress said. "Valor Ranch was first with 3,791 votes. There were about 10,000 votes total." In second place, Wayside Waifs collected about 1,500 votes. Third went Children's Mercy Hospital with just over 1,200 votes. To learn more about Valor Ranch, search the charity's name on the Courier-Tribune homepage at

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