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Friends of the Smokies telethon raises $200K

Staff Report • Aug 21, 2013 at 5:02 AM

KODAK, Tenn. — Thanks to hundreds of callers and help from sponsors, Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park raised $201,423 through its 19th annual “Friends Across the Mountains” telethon on Aug. 15.

“We extend our sincere thanks to each person that pledged support during the annual telethon. Your stewardship allows us to better meet the growing challenges in caring for park resources and providing opportunities for visitors, and we thank you,” said Dale Ditmanson, superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The not-for-profit Friends of the Smokies organization helps maintain Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Since 1995, Friends of the Smokies telethons have raised more than $2.9 million.

Telethon donations can still be made at the Friends of the Smokies website to help fund the more than $1 million of park needs this year — to protect black bears, heal hemlock trees and preserve historic log cabins and churches from Cades Cove to Cataloochee Valley.

Dollywood, Mast General Store, Pilot Corp. and SmartBank sponsored this year's telethon.

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