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Wednesday, 23 May 2007 00:00

Tag helps nonprofit reach $1 million mark

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Motorists sporting Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park license plates have helped the organization top the $1 million fund-raising mark since the inception of the specialty license plates in 1999.

A new license plate design — sporting the park’s icon, a black bear — helped push the plate program over the $1 million mark with a record quarter following the release of the new plate last fall.

“We’ve had a very favorable response to our new license plate design, which features the mountains and a black bear,” said Elaine Stewart, manager of the Waynesville office of Friends of the Smokies. “Plus, I think most people simply appreciate the fact that we are doing a lot of good things with their money, and that keeps them renewing year after year.”

The revenues from the plate program have supported the return of elk to Cataloochee Valley, black bear conservation programs, a wide variety of education programs for park visitors and local school children, air quality initiatives, backcountry trail and safety programs, and more.

“Whether it’s our ongoing effort to save the park’s hemlocks or our support for summer education programs in the park, we have a lot more to do,” added Stewart. “We are very thankful to all our supporters, and we hope other folks will join our efforts to preserve and protect the Smokies.”

The Smokies plate is available any time from any local North Carolina license plate agency office. Of the extra $30 annual fee for the specialty tag, $20 goes to Friends of the Smokies to support projects and programs on the North Carolina side of the park. More information is available online at or by calling 828.452.0720.

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This Must Be the Place

  • This must be the place

    art theplaceMary Harper was quite possibly the first real friend I made when I moved to Western North Carolina.

    With my apartment a few blocks away from the Water’n Hole Bar & Grill in Waynesville, I ventured down there at night trying to see what was up in this town, trying to make some friends, and trying not to feel alone and isolated in a new place where I was unknown to all who surrounded me. Harper, with her million-dollar smile and swagger, immediately made me feel at home. 

    Written on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 00:00