Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park raised $201,209 through its 17th annual “Friends Across the Mountains” telethon – topping the $200,000 mark for the sixth year in a row. The total for all “Friends Across the Mountains” telethons since 1995 is now nearly $2.5 million.
“We think this is the only telethon benefiting a national park. For 17 years telethon funding has protected wildlife, strengthened park environmental education programs, and improved our visitors’ experiences in so many ways,” said Dale Ditmanson, Superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The telethon total was helped along with many generous contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations, including $2,300 from Twin City Nissan in Alcoa. Twin City donates $100 to Friends of the Smokies from the sale of every zero-emission, 100% electric LEAF vehicle.
Donations came in from Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee- and even Texas. The event was broadcast on Knoxville’s WBIR-TV and Asheville’s WLOS-TV, and webcast, as well.
Since 1993, the not-for-profit Friends of the Smokies organization has raised more than $34 million to help maintain Great Smoky Mountains National Park as a crown jewel of the national park system.
Donations can always be made to Friends of the Smokies by calling (800) 845-5665 or visiting www.FriendsOfTheSmokies.org.