On April 21, members of the Tennessee Association of Roofing Contractors (TARC) hosted a golf tournament in Gatlinburg, Tenn. to raise funds for Gatlinburg’s Mountain Tough Recovery Team (MTRT), a foundation set up through the East Tennessee Foundation to help families who lost homes in the wildfires that spread through the state in late 2016.
MTRT was created to aid and support families who were adversely affected by the fires on November 28, 2016, that burned 1,800 homes and caused $500 million in damage to the tourism industry.
“It’s important for TARC to support the businesses in Tennessee, especially in times of need,” says TARC past-president Robert Smith, Jr. “There are still families displaced by these fires and businesses yet to be rebuilt.”
In lieu of TARC’s Scholarship Fund, TARC held a special silent auction and reception after the golf tournament to raise funds for fire victims. Items auctioned included Gatlinburg weekend getaway packages donated by the Gatlinburg Visitors Bureau.
TARC exceeded its goal of raising $10,000 for the foundation, raising $14,000.
“The MTRT will utilize these funds to assist the fire survivors with various unmet needs from medical assistance, the replacement of items such as small appliances to be used for food preparation, and assistance with utility costs in temporary housing,” said MTRT board chair Ellen Wilhort.
“It was a touching experience,” Smith says. “To be able to be part of the rebuilding process in these people’s lives made the event worthwhile. We as an organization should be honored to have been able to lend a hand to those in need.”