Local moonshine business shows Volunteer Spirit through MoonShare program

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GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) - One thing that has become a popular tourist attraction in Sevier County is the tasting of Tennessee moonshine. One store is using their business of spirits to give back Vounteer Spirit.

Inside the Sugarlands Distillery samples are poured for the enjoyment of moonshine fans. In the back the process is hands on. From pouring the bottles, to attaching labels, and ultimately packing into boxes.

"We're taking the East Tennessee Moonshine to the country," says Courtney DeLaura with Sugarlands Distilling Company.

In only it's third year the shelves can sometimes be hard to keep stocked.

People like it when you share moonshine. They really like it when you MoonShare!

"Before we were even in business a full year we launched our MoonShare Program," says DeLaura.

That program rewards $5,000 grants to 12 non-profits across the country.

"It's the Mountain Way of things. Helping our neighbors," says DeLaura.

"Whether it's paying for utility bills, giving them a gas card, helping pay the rent. Any thing like that," says Les Fout with Provision Cares Foundation.

Previous winners include the East Tennessee based foundation. They serve cancer patients where they need help.

"It was a little nerve wracking, because we need the support. We'll spend more than $100,000 this year feeding cancer patients in East Tennessee through seven or eight cancer centers," says Fout.

Fans vote for their favorite organization on social media after the company picks their top 50 non profits.

"We started out, we were in the 40's, moved to the 30's and 20's, and ended up in the top 12," recalls Fout.

Provision Cares is making a difference by providing eight thousand meals to cancer patients and their families a year.

"And so that $5,000 from Sugarland's is going to pay for more than 800 meals," says Fout.

"It is amazing to me what they are able to do with $5,000 dollars," says DeLaura.

"East Tennessee is a very generous region. Whether it's individuals or companies. Sugarland's is a great example of that," says Fout.

"It's just very much the Mountain Way. We want to bring that to everybody," says DeLaura.

That's also called Volunteer Spirit.