Platinum or china may be the standard 20th anniversary gift, but Friends of the Smokies, a non-profit organization that supports the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is hoping for a little something in green to celebrate its 20th year. For every $30 motorists pay for a specialty Friends of the Smokies license plate, $20 goes to the organization. According to the newest NC Department of Motor Vehicles report, third quarter sales of specialty license plates were the highest of this year generating $116,140 for Friends of the Smokies and more than $400,000 in specialty license plates in general. The Friends of the Smokies funds are used on the North Carolina side of the park to help manage bears, support Elk Bugle Corps Park volunteers and educate schoolchildren on park activities. Since 1993, Friends of the Smokies organization has raised more than $41 million to help maintain Great Smoky Mountains National Park, including the establishment of the $4 million Trails Forever endowment to improve Smoky Mountain hiking trails in perpetuity.
www.friendsofthesmokies.org or 828.452.0720.