Tonight the Friends of the Smokies will be hosting the 19th Annual Friends Across the Mountains Telethon to benefit Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The event has a long history as the only telethon for a national park, and has raised over $2.5 million dollars.
“This broadcast provides a great chance to learn more about the tremendous national resource that’s right in our own backyard,” said Friends of the Smokies President Jim Hart. “We are very thankful for the generous financial support that viewers provide each year to help the park.”
This year’s broadcast will take place from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 15, on WLOS-TV Channel 13 in Asheville and WBIR-TV Channel 10 in Knoxville. The 19th Annual telethon is generously sponsored by Dollywood, Mast General Store, and Pilot Flying J, and SmartBank with enthusiastic volunteer support from First Tennessee Bank and Home Federal Bank.
Viewers of the Telethon will see many of the GSMNP needs which Friends of the Smokies is funding this year, more than $1.1 million to support education, conservation, recreation, and historic preservation in 2013. Current projects include continued rehabilitation of the Chimney Tops Trail by the Trails Forever crew, ongoing suppression of the hemlock woolly adelgid, and funding for Parks as Classrooms environmental education programs for more than 18,000 students.
Individuals and business owners have three different ways to make a gift:
* They can make a donation online,
* Or, they can call Friends’ toll free telethon hotline at 877-884-6867 during the Friends Across the Mountains broadcast and make a pledge over the phone,
* Or, they can call Friends of the Smokies and ask for a donation form to be mailed to them (Waynesville NC Office, 828-452-0720; Sevierville TN Office, 865-932-4794 or 800-845-5665).
Hiking in the Smokies