Tremont receives record donation from Maples family

Wilma Maples recently made a substantial gift to the Rel Maples Endowment Fund through the Friends of the Smokies, Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont officials said.

This gift was made in honor of Maples’ late husband Rel Maples, a Gatlinburg developer and long-time park supporter. Her generosity will help Tremont offer scholarships to children who are unable to afford the roughly $140 to attend a 3-day Tremont school program. In 2007, Tremont awarded $28,365 in financial aid to 318 students attending their educational programs

Bill Cobble, a founding board member of Tremont, helped to create Tremont’s endowment for which the gift is designated. Stressing the importance of sustainable funding Cobble said in a press release, “This gift helped Tremont’s endowment to surpass $1 million.”

Current Tremont board chair Dick Ray said, “Since 2004, Tremont has awarded over $114,605 in scholarship funds to help connect over 1,170 children and nature in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. These funds allow Tremont to continue our mission of helping children to appreciate the Smokies, celebrate their cultural and biological diversity, while fostering stewardship.”

For information on how to help Tremont, call 865-448-6709. Contributions may also be mailed to Friends of the Smokies (designated for the Maples Endowment Fund), PO Box 1660, Kodak, TN 37764.

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