I know that this is an incredibly micro-story in the grand scheme of things. I know of dozens of makers who donate their work to all manner of philanthropic endeavors, from LEO benefits, to cancer charities, conservation organizations, and more. So I want this post to be a shout out to all of those makers who give of their time and talents to better the world around them. In fact, if you are a maker and have donated your work to charity, please feel free to mention it and plug your organization of choice by leaving a link in the comments.
Going back to the knife at hand, literally – I picked it up from Mike at lunch today, it is a beautiful hand-crafted French Trade Knife-style drop point in O1 steel. It features stabilized walnut scales, brass hardware, and a dangler-style leather sheath. It really is a fine knife, which Mike McCarter of House Mountain Blades crafted for the silent auction of the Friends of the Smokies annual Evergreen Ball.
Friends was the first, and remains the largest private, outside organization to sponsor “their” National Park. Since 1993, Friends has raised more than $53 million for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Evergreen Ball is their single biggest annual fundraiser, raising upwards of $250k in a single night each year. I have been a volunteer for going on a decade now, and have donated several fishing trips, casting, and fly-tying lessons over the years as well as soliciting donations and helping with the event itself.
The knife has a retail value of $200. It will make at least that much, as I intend to buy it if there is not sufficient interest from one of the event attendees. If it doesn’t draw in at least that much, it would be unfair to both Mike and the Friends of the Smokies. It is similar to what I did when I bought my presentation-quality Kim Breed Model 15 at the Project Healing Waters benefit.
That is really all I have to say about this, but I thought it was important to give a shout out to Mike and all the knifemakers who give so generously of themselves. Take a bow folks, and put in a plug for your philanthropic organization of choice.