Just the Facts

Fundraisers boost efforts of nonprofits

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Deena Bouknight

In various ways, Macon County residents and visitors support people, places, and services essential to the community. Recently, both the Friends of the Greenway (FROG) and Men’s Challenge of the Smokies were boosted positively by fundraising efforts. 

FROG’s annual fair to raise funds to maintain and promote the Little Tennessee River Greenway was held Oct. 28 around its headquarters at the Main Street bridge in Franklin. The event sported more than 40 vendors and offered food and live entertainment by area musicians from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

According to FROG’s secretary, Rita St. Clair, “Running an event takes lots of pre-planning and many volunteers to make it successful. We had 35 volunteers with approximately 250 hours of pre-event work and event day help. Counted through our entrances were 885 visitors … it was truly a great day! This event brought in about $3,000, with one annual sponsor: H&R Block of Franklin. In the past, monies raised have been used for educational and informational signage on the trail, new quarter-mile markers, and assistance with the cost of the Barbara McRae Memorial Viewing Platform. We expect to use these funds for the new signage for the Platform.”

Additionally, the 8th Annual Hunter’s Mountain Ride & Poker Run, hosted on Saturday Oct. 7, raised $15,500 for Men’s Challenge of the Smokies. The nonprofit organization will use the donated funds for various program needs and scholarships, according to Director Mike Barres. 

Monica and Tony Curtis of Hunter’s Mountain Ride and Mike Barres, director of Men’s Challenge of the Smokies, hold up a check for $15,500 representing funds raised from the annual event.

The Hunter’s Mountain Ride fundraiser is named for Hunter Curtis, who battled drug addiction and was planning to enter the Men’s Challenge of the Smokies before his death. It was started by Tony and Monica Curtis, Hunter’s parents, and the annual fundraiser is organized and overseen by various family members and friends of the Curtis Family and is attended by individuals from all around the Southeast.

Hunter’s Mountain Ride & Poker Run is dedicated to help Men’s Challenge of the Smokies with various campus and program-related needs but especially scholarships for individuals wanting to attend the program. Men’s Challenge mission is to “provide men with an effective and comprehensive Christian, faith-based solution to life-controlling drug and alcohol problems in order to become productive members of society.” 

To date, in excess of $55,000 has been raised for Men’s Challenge since the annual fundraiser began eight years ago, explained Dave Linn, one of the event’s organizers.