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Dolly Parton has arrived in Nashville ahead of her Smoky Mountains Rise telethon to raise money for her “My People” fund, which will aid victims of the Sevier County wildfires.
We spoke with Dolly as she arrived to prepare for the event, and you could tell she was thrilled with the support the telethon is getting from the country music community.
She said so many of them asked “What can we do to help?” and she took them up on it!
“They all love the Smokies,” she said. “They all go there!”
Artists donating their performances to the effort include: Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Hank Williams Jr., Chris Stapleton, Reba McEntire, Alison Krauss, Michael W. Smith, Chris Janson, Big & Rich, LOCASH, Chris Young, Montgomery Gentry, Jamey Johnson, Cyndi Lauper, Don McLean, Amy Grant, Alabama, Aaron Lewis and Rhonda Vincent.
Other artists not performing will help with answering the phones and will call into the show with donations.
“This ain’t just about it being my home. This is one of the greatest tourist attractions in all of Tennessee, in the south, or the world, as far as I’m concerned,” Dolly said.
Dolly, who hasn’t had a chance yet to see the damage firsthand, said her family was fine. She said they were her first thought when she heard about the fires.
“They said we’re all good but everything is burning around us,” she said.
Her many businesses also survived.
“God was good to me,” she said.
Dolly always goes home for Christmas, and said she was sure she’d be devastated when she saw the damage first hand.
“But I will get to go have Christmas with my family in a warm cozy house,” she said. But so many won’t. Those are the people she wants to help with this telethon.
Nearly $500,000 of donations have already have been committed, but the need is so great. More than 1300 families lost their homes due to the wildfires. The Dollywood Foundation My People Fund will provide $1000 each month for six months to every family who lost their primary residence.
Dolly said they’d like to raise at least $13 million for the fund, so they can provide help even beyond the monthly payment.
Other celebrities committed to help:
Celebrities donating their time to answer phones include: Paula Deen and her sons Bobby and Jamie, Chrisley Knows Best cast members Todd, Julie and Savannah, Moonshiners’ cast members Mark and Digger, Nashville’s Charles Esten, cast members of Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors, country hit-makers Chris & Mogane Stapleton, Terri Clark, Mark Wills, Lee Greenwood, Larry Gatlin, TG Sheppard, John Conlee, Ronnie McDowell, Kristian Bush, Tim Rushlow, T. Graham Brown, Dolly’s nieces Rebecca Seaver and Danielle Parton, bluegrass hitmakers Lorraine Jordan and Darrin Vincent, comedian Henry Cho, KC of KC & The Sunshine Band, hot new country artists Brett Young, Cassadee Pope, RaeLynn, Danielle Bradbury, Lucas Hoge, Denny Strickland, songwriter Becky Hobbs, and members of the Tennessee Titans.
Several other celebrities are sharing special video messages during the telethon including: Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood, Larry King, Steve Harvey, Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, and Today Show’s Willie Geist.
How to donate:
During the telethon, viewers will be asked to call 1-866-CARE MORE to donate to the My People Fund.
Anyone who would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to the My People Fund may visit dollywoodfoundation.org. For those wishing to send donations via mail, those contributions should be sent to: My People Fund, c/o Dollywood Foundation, 111 Dollywood Lane, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863.
The lineup of performers and participants continues to grow for Dolly Parton’s upcoming telethon to support Sevier County residents…