Buy gear and help the park’s friends

Mast General Store is offering outdoor enthusiasts a way to get new gear while helping out the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Until Sept. 14, Patagonia footwear, apparel and gear purchased at Mast General Store in Waynesville will benefit the nonprofit Friends of the Smokies. The fund-raising initiative will culminate Sept. 14 with a celebration at the Mast General Store, at which 10 percent of the store’s sales on that date directed to the friends group.

There is a parallel event in the company’s Knoxville store, and this is the fourth year of the fund-raising campaign.

Representatives from Friends of the Smokies will be on hand Sept. 14 to share information about projects in the park. Currently, the organization’s trail crew is working on the Chimney Tops Trail. Information about volunteering with the crew will be available on-site as well.

This month also marks the 20th anniversary of Friends of the Smokies.

“Twenty years ago this month, our organization was established to help the Smokies. We wouldn’t still be here without the support of businesses like Mast who recognize what an economic engine Great Smoky Mountains National Park is for its surrounding communities,“ said Holly Demuth, North Carolina director of Friends of the Smokies.

www.friendsofthesmokies.org or www.mastgeneralstore.com

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