Smokies Telethon Raises Over $200,000

Friday, August 16, 2013
Home Federal Bank's volunteer team with President and CEO Dale Keasling, who is also Friends of the Smokies' board vice chairman.
Home Federal Bank's volunteer team with President and CEO Dale Keasling, who is also Friends of the Smokies' board vice chairman.
- photo by Kathryn Robertson
Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park raised $201,423 on Thursday night through its 19th annual “Friends Across the Mountains” telethon, thanks to hundreds of callers and help from sponsors Dollywood, Mast General Store, Pilot Corporation, and SmartBank.  Since 1995 Friends of the Smokies telethons have raised more than $2.9 million.
 
“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.
 
During the broadcast, Sugarland Cellars owner Don Collier presented a $20,000 check to the organization.  Since the spring of 2012 the Gatlinburg winery has offered five limited edition varietals with custom labels created by renowned artist Robert A. Tino.  Each release is paired with Tino’s matching artistic tiles featuring each label’s artwork.  Every bottle generates a $5 donation to help Friends of the Smokies in its mission to preserve and protect GSMNP.
 
“The generous response to this year’s Friends Across the Mountains Telethon is a continuing testimony to the love that people have for the Smokies and how very important it is to our region,” said Friends of the Smokies President Jim Hart.
 
Telethon donations can still be made online at www.friendsofthesmokies.org to help fund 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.

Tennessee State Parks To Host Public Input Hearing At Booker T. Washington State Park

Leaders from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation will be conducting a public hearing at Booker T. Washington State Park on Thursday, Dec. 4, to gather public input and discuss the current business and management plan for the park.  The event will begin at  5:30 p.m.  with an open house reception to meet park staff and view exhibits. The ... (click for more)

SORBA Chattanooga Announces 2015 Race Series Schedule

SORBA (Southern Off-Road Biking Association) Chattanooga announced the Race Series schedule for 2015. Registration for all races opens on Dec. 1 . Pick Your Poison, a cross country race at Booker T. Washington State Park; Soul Sucker, which has a 25k and 50k option held at Raccoon Mountain; the Raccoon Mountain Super D, a downhill race; Night Shift, the six-hour twilight race ... (click for more)

1 Dies, 1 Critically Injured In North Chattanooga House Fire

For the second time in three days, a house fire has resulted in tragedy with a 35-year-old woman dying and a man critically injured in North Chattanooga. At 10:13 a.m. on Wednesday, Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to a reported house fire with entrapment at 220 Houser St. The first firefighters on the scene saw flames shooting out windows and part of the roof. Having ... (click for more)

Appeal Dropped In $25 Million Lawsuit Filed Against Hennen's Restaurant By Lisa Barnes

An appeal has been dropped of a Circuit Court jury verdict that found Hennen's Restaurant not at fault in a $25 million lawsuit brought by Lisa Barnes. Circuit Court officials said the appeal was "voluntarily" dropped. It had been set to be reviewed by the Tennessee Court of Appeals. The verdict in the courtroom of Judge Neil Thomas in early February came at the end of ... (click for more)

Lawlessness At Heritage Park

As a frequent visitor at Heritage Park in East Brainerd, I must say that the situation is becoming slightly out of control.  To start, parking is atrocious.  The unpaved lot contains nothing but loose gravel which has naturally given way to divots in the ground assuring you a few bumps.  Why isn't this area smoothed out?  It's not worth parking there anyways ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Grand Thanksgiving Feast

I’m not really sure how it all came about but a few days before Thanksgiving last year, what was usually a crowded table had dwindled down to just Mother, Aunt Martha and me. Just the idea of getting dressed up made both of them tired, which happens when you are 89 and 87, respectively, and the thought of preparing the traditional feast brought only further groans so I announced ... (click for more)