In black ties and ball gowns, Friends of the Smokies gathered for an evening of elegance at Cherokee Country Club for the Evergreen Ball to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and to raise more than $500,000 for Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The Evergreen Ball, now in its 13th year, featured a silent auction, wine auction, and live auction which included original artwork, one-of-a-kind experiences, and vacation packages from the Virgin Islands, Maine, and Argentina. The evening’s program included an introduction by Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum host Don Wildman and welcome messages by Friends of the Smokies board chair Dr. Dan Matthews and Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Cassius Cash.
“This evening is an incredible experience and a truly wonderful opportunity to support the Great Smoky Mountains,” said Dr. Matthews. “We are so thankful for Scripps Networks and all our sponsors as well as the dedicated committee members and volunteers who make this event possible.”
The 2016 Evergreen Ball was presented by Scripps Networks Interactive and the Travel Channel and was sponsored by The Charlie & Moll Anderson Family Foundation, Boyd’s Jig & Reel, Citizens National Bank, Clayton Homes, The Haslam Family Foundation, Jim & Natalie Haslam, Home Federal Bank, Pilot Travel Centers, SmartBank, 21st Mortgage Corporation, Alcoa, Charles Blalock & Sons Inc., Dollywood, LMU Duncan School of Law, Martin & Company, Nisus Corporation, Phillips & Jordan, Pugh CPAs, Regal Entertainment Group, The William B. Stokely Jr. Foundation, with special underwriting from Sugarland Cellars, The Trust Company, LHP Capital, Connor Concepts, and the Knoxville News Sentinel.
“As the park service heads into its second century of service, we are fortunate to have people all across the country who love and support our park as much as you all gathered here tonight,” said Superintendent Cash. “I mean it when I say there is no better friends group in the NPS than Friends of the Smokies.”
Over its 13-year history, the Evergreen Ball has raised more than $4.8 million in support of environmental education programs, wildlife management, historic preservation and more in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Cumulative funds raised by Friends of the Smokies for these and other critical park programs have surpassed $50 million since the organization was founded in 1993.
Photo Credit: Jack Williams