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Friends' Day 2018

 
Friends' Day is September 8

 

A friend is someone you can call on when you need help, support, or to celebrate a milestone. Each September, the Mast Store celebrates friends in each of its communities that are working to create special places and to positively affect the local economy. On September 8, all Mast Stores will host volunteers from the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the Friends of the Smokies, the Friends of the Reedy River, Palmetto Conservation Foundation, and Old Salem Museum and Gardens. At the end of the day, each location will donate 10% of the day’s sales to our community partner.

The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation supports a variety of projects and programs along the Parkway to ensure you have a wonderful experience when you visit. In 2018, the Foundation is raising funds to preserve historic buildings, restore exhibits and iconic features, protect plants and wildlife, get more kids outdoors and active, and preserve the unique music of the Blue Ridge.

One of the most iconic projects in the High Country area is the restoration of Flat Top Manor at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. The Foundation has raised $2 million toward projects in the house and is working toward an additional $1 million for further renovations and landscape work. 

The Friends of the Smokies celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. With a stated goal of assisting the National Park Service in its mission to preserve and protect the Great Smoky Mountains National Park by raising funds and public awareness and providing volunteers for needed projects, the Friends have a far-ranging impact on the health of the Park.

Some of the projects the group is undertaking include upgrading the communication system for the Park. This system is not only used for daily Park operations, it is also used for emergency response within the Park’s boundaries. Other programs on the Park’s wish list for support include Parks as Classrooms, where rangers lead lessons utilizing the Park as an enormous outdoor classroom, and activities to suppress the hemlock woolly adelgid infestation.

The Friends of the Reedy River celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. As the voice of the river, the Friends have priorities in conservation, restoration, and education to improve the water quality of the Reedy River and its tributaries. The organization’s actions not only impact the quality of the water, but nurture wildlife and the ecosystem along its banks.

Some of the projects the group is undertaking include restoring native vegetation to the Cleveland Stables project site, which is being further funded by a grant from Duke Energy, and partnering with community groups, like Generations Group Homes and Passport Camps, to conduct river cleanups and to maintain riverbank plantings.

The Palmetto Conservation Foundation is nearing its 30th birthday, which is next year. Its lofty goal of linking the Upstate with the Lowcountry and sharing a compelling story in between is being accomplished and written one mile at a time. Over 350 trail miles are complete in 14 counties, and the organization is focusing on the 150 miles left to complete this ribbon of trail that links natural and cultural resources with historic landmarks with a goal of promoting physical activity and accessibility.

Some of the projects the group just completed include a ¾-mile trestle boardwalk along the Wateree Passage of the Palmetto Trail. The boardwalk is elevated above the swamp by reclaimed piers that once supported the historic South Carolina Railroad. Another project, the new Dug Mountain Passage, is slated to open in late September and will run from the Jocassee Gorges along the Eastatoe Creek to Keowee-Toxaway State Park.

A visit to Old Salem Museums and Gardens is a grand opportunity to interact with history, to walk in the same footsteps as the early settlers who called this settlement home. Costumed interpreters bring history to life for thousands of visitors each year, from school children to the history buff to the intellectually curious.

One of Old Salem’s newest offerings is Salem Saturdays, which are an immersive, hands-on experience for the whole family. Join in a quilting frolic, cook on an open hearth, or make a pewter spoon – it’s all a part of a memorable experience to increase our understanding of history. There’s always time to walk down the street to enjoy a meal at the Salem Tavern, or just enjoy the scenery.

We are excited to announce that Patagonia will once again be supporting Mast Store’s Friends’ Day. As a company, Patagonia helps organizations that work to preserve beautiful places. They will also be contributing to the Friends of the Smokies and to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation on Mast Store’s behalf.

Stop by any Mast Store on September 8 to learn more about our community partners and how you can get more involved. There are so many ways you can help – volunteering, supporting monetarily, advocating, or just spreading the word about your experience.