South Greene hosts Gatlinburg-Pittman, raises money for wildfire victims

GREENE COUNTY, TN (WJHL)-One week after a deadly wildfire devastated Sevier County, relief efforts continue right here in the Tri-Cities region.

Monday night for the first time since the fires Gatlinburg-Pittman High School’s basketball team hit the court, traveling to South Greene.

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While they may have been opponents on the court, off of it they worked together for a greater cause.

The Principal at South Greene High School, Dr. Cindy Bowman, said some students came up with the idea to help out those impacted by the wildfires in Gatlinburg.

“Thats what we heard they needed was money, so that was pretty cool our students came up with that idea,” Dr. Bowman said.

Monday night they also took donations as fans walked through the door ahead of the game.

“We challenged the students to bring $1, and we have 500 students so our goal was $500 but at the end of the day today we had about $582,” Dr. Bowman said.

Director of Schools in Sevier County, Jackie Parton, said Monday was the first day students were back in the classroom at Gatlinburg-Pittman.

“We have a lot of families here today that actually have lost their homes, but they are up here tonight supporting the school, supporting their students, supporting their families,” Parton said.

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We also found the Mayor of Gatlinburg, Mike Werner, who said he was there to support his son who plays on the boys varsity basketball team.

“We hardly miss any games at all, so regardless of what else was going on, we had to be up here for this,” Werner said.

In the end the game wasn’t about winning or losing, but giving to those who need it most.

At the end of the night Dr. Bowman presented Parton with $1,822 to help those in Gatlinburg who were impacted by the fires.

“We are going to come back stronger, we are going to come back and its going to be a better community, its going to be a better day tomorrow, we have a slogan we go by now and its ‘We are mountain tough’,” Parton said.

As relief efforts continue, we learned Monday that Gatlinburg plans to reopen for business and to the public on Friday morning.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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