Published On: Fri, Aug 10th, 2012

Telethon to benefit Park

WAYNESVILLE –  It’s amazing what can happen in just sixty minutes.  Each year, the Friends Across the Mountains telethon showcases inspiring images and stories from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and each year individuals, local businesses, and foundations provide necessary support by calling in during the broadcast.  The event has raised more than $2.4 million over the last 17 years.

The Friends Across the Mountains Telethon on Thursday, Aug. 16 runs from 7-8p.m. on Knoxville’s WBIR-TV Channel 10 and Asheville’s WLOS-TV Channel 13.

“This broadcast provides a great chance to learn more about this tremendous national resource that’s right in our own backyard,” said Jim Hart, president of Friends of the Smokies.  “We are very thankful for the generous financial support that viewers provide each year to help the park.”

Friends of the Smokies will contribute more than $1 million this year to fund current park needs, including the ongoing battle to suppress the hemlock woolly adelgid across the Smokies, conservation of black bears in the backcountry, and management of the elk herd in Cataloochee.  Friends will provide more than $275,000 for curriculum enhancement for the Parks as Classrooms environmental education program that serves 12,000+ students in schools bordering the park.

Telethon donations can be made online now at www.friendsofthesmokies.org.  During the broadcast, volunteers will take phone-in pledges at 877-687-MTNS (6867).

Since 1993, the not-for-profit Friends of the Smokies organization has raised more than $37 million to help maintain Great Smoky Mountains National Park as a crown jewel of the national park system, including the establishment of the $4 million Trails Forever endowment to improve Smoky Mountain hiking trails in perpetuity.

Info:  www.FriendsOfTheSmokies.org or www.SmokiesTrailsForever.org

– Friends of the Smokies

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