A wave of fires swept across the main entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and entered the city limits of Gatlinburg and Sevier County.
It was a chain of events that created the "perfect storm". No one could have predicted what was about to happen. It was just a smoke filled day downtown Gatlinburg, similar to the past few weeks since wildfires were surrounding nearby forests. Little did 14,000 people know that they were going to have to run for their lives to avoid the 90mph gusts of wind that were throwing flames miles away. As guests franticly rushed around by vehicle and by foot, some never got the instructions and were left to perish in the fire. The stories of heroism have not all been told yet, but you better believe that as thousands rushed out, hundreds rushed in with brave intentions to save the people, town and community we all love. As the community is presently surrounding those who lost everything, we at SMG felt the need to assist as well. As you know, we are a small business who's roots are in this community and these mountains. We decided we wanted to help in a way that we could be best used. Fortunately we have family partners that operate LaPrees Advertising and Design Services and we discussed how we can create awareness and help for the victims. At the conclusion of this discussion, www.smokiesstrong.com was born. This site and effort will be here for the long haul. Our intention is to raise money, create awareness and possibly allow for employment for those at their lowest times. We will give all profits back to individuals that are homeless, clothe-less, desperate and in need of support. We knew that we as individuals within SMG would have little impact, but with your help and our community, we could play a larger part in helping. Please join us by donating directly to sources we have listed on www.smokiesstrong.com and\or purchase a shirt to create awareness and provide funds. We thank you for your help, love and prayers for the community. #smokiesstrong