The 12th Annual Evergreen Ball takes place this Saturday evening, forming a fitting celebration at the end of another year’s Wilderness Wildlife Week.
Organized by Friends of the Smokies, the Evergreen Ball is a way for supporters of Great Smoky Mountains National Park to celebrate and meet friends new and old, over cocktails and dinner, with benefit auctions, and live-music dancing.
A highlight of this year’s Evergreen Ball is Jack Maxwell, star of Travel Channel’s new show Booze Traveler, as celebrity bartender for the event.
Attendance to this annual fundraiser is by invitation, and Friends of the Smokies reports that the event is full. There was an unprecedented wave of support and interest in the Park in 2014, as visitors exceeded the 10 million mark, and the magic is pouring over into the Evergreen Ball this year.
Friends of the Smokies has raised tens of millions of dollars to support the activities and preservation of Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and the last 12 years from the Evergreen Ball alone has raised close to $4 million. This is an astonishing record, and shows how much the local people of the region have supported and treasured the Park.
If you’ve been amazed this week at the sheer abundance of energy and voluntarism that goes into the vast array of classes and exhibits at the Wildlife Week, you can stay amazed at the many people who have contributed their effort and resources to the Evergreen Ball, and the prizes donated to the event.
The Ball features a live auction, several classes of silent auction, and a wine auction. Live auction winning bids include a stay in Dolly Parton’s celebrity suite – known as Dolly’s Suite dreams (of course!) – at her new resort opening this summer.
Also featured in the auction are an adventure trip to several destinations in South Africa’s Western Cape, and a stay in a private retreat in the wine country of the Andes of Argentina. Closer to home, join a dinner party for 10 guests at a private residence, catered by Food Networks Kitchen.
The Ball is hosted at the Cherokee Country Club in Knoxville, Tennessee. Seats were $300 each and tables could be reserved for $3,000. Friends of the Smokies calls the event a friend-maker as well as a fundraiser, and cites how patrons evolve from attendees to benefactors, and from purchasing tickets to sponsoring tables or major auction items.
As Wilderness Wildlife Week ends on Saturday afternoon, guests at the Evergreen Ball can kick off their hiking boots and put on their dancing slippers, shuck the backpack for the black dress, and celebrate our regional and national treasure, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.