Sugarlands Distilling Company is awarding grants to two local organizations that won top spots in its MoonShare program.
The non-profit organizations Pets Without Parents and Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will each receive a $5,000 grant from Sugarlands Distilling Company in Gatlinburg. They were selected for the MoonShare program based upon public voting on the company’s Facebook page during January.
Sugarlands Distilling Company made this its “Year of Giving” by launching MoonShare, a community works program that will give away a total of $60,000 in grant funds to non-profits across the United States. After nearly 100,000 votes cast by the public, the twelve organizations that received the most votes will each be the recipient of a $5,000 grant from the program.
“I am so proud of our company and thrilled by the public support the program received,” said Courtney DeLaura, director of the MoonShare program. “The mountain way is to lend a hand, and our company is built on the philosophies of the first families that settled in the area. Through this program, and through our products, we are able to share that philosophy with fans of our moonshine, wherever they are.”
See a list of Sugarlands Distillery Company 2015 MoonShare Recipients
Pets Without Parents is a no-kill animal shelter based in Sevierville, Tenn. that rescues pets in need with a goal of finding them a permanent home. The organization also educates the community about veterinary care, vaccination, and spaying/neutering by offering a yearly pet health fair. It is a volunteer organization dependent upon donations of money, services and goods such at pet food, cat litter and supplies. Anyone who would like to volunteer or donate may call (865) 286-9411.
“We are so honored by our followers for helping us receive this grant,” said Pets Without Parents shelter director, Kylee Davis. “At this time, we have no special projects set aside for the grant money. During the winter season, monetary donations to the shelter decline significantly and it is at this crucial part of the year we need the most help. Winning this money was a blessing for the shelter and it will be used to help cover our monthly operational cost of about $10,000 to $12,000. We are so grateful for the community support and outreach we receive and are also thankful for Sugarlands Distilling Company giving us this opportunity.”
In addition to the monetary award, each of the twelve organizations will be assigned a month to be featured in a “Month to Shine” on the Sugarlands Distilling Company website and its social media platforms to help highlight their cause.
“Friends of the Smokies was thrilled to be selected as one of twelve winners in the MoonShare grant competition. We appreciate Sugarlands Distilling Co. for their generosity in the east Tennessee community,” said Brent McDaniel, marketing director at Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. “Thanks to our members and supporters who voted every day, we are able to put this $5,000 towards the Appalachian Trail Ridgerunner program. A.T. Ridgerunners make an important impact on the park service’s ability to maintain the Appalachian Trail through Great Smoky Mountains National Park.”
The organization assists the National Park Service in its mission to preserve and protect the Great Smoky Mountains National Park by raising funds and public awareness, and providing volunteers for needed projects. Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers membership and volunteer opportunities, as well as welcomes in-kind and monetary donations. Call (865) 932-4794 to support Friends of the Smokies.
“All of the organizations involved in MoonShare, whether they were awarded money or not, deserve attention and support from the public,” said Jay Miller, public relations coordinator for Sugarlands Distilling Company. “We are happy to highlight the efforts of these groups through the MoonShare program, and we look forward to seeing how they continue to positively influence the lives of others.”