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.
“For 17 years telethon funding has protected wildlife, strengthened park environmental education programs, and improved our visitors’ experiences in so many ways,” said an appreciative Dale Ditmanson, superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
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, plus webcast, as well.
Since 1993, the not-for-profit Friends of the Smokies organization has raised more than $34 million to benefit the park.