Dolly Parton Taps Country Icons for My People Fund Telethon
Dolly Parton has lined up three big country names to help out during her My People Fund telethon to raise money for those affected by the recent wildfires in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tenn. In addition to Parton herself, Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund will feature Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers and Alison Krauss.
According to a press release, Parton's benefit event will air on the Great American Country network from 8PM ET until 11PM ET on Dec. 13. A number of other platforms -- iHeartMedia's digital and on-air channels, Cumulus Media's Nash Nights Live, TuneIn's Country Roads channel and more to be announced -- will simulcast the event. Additionally, more artists who are participating in the telethon will be revealed in the coming days.
“My home in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee is some place special,” Parton says in the release. “Wildfires have affected many of the people — my people — who live in those beautiful mountains. We want to provide a hand up to those families who have lost everything in the fires. I know it has been a trying time for my people, and this assistance will help get them back on their feet.”
After wildfires tore through Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge — resort towns in East Tennessee’s Sevier County — in late November and early December, Parton (a native of the area) established the My People Fund to provide $1,000 a month for six months to families "whose homes are uninhabitable or were completely destroyed" because of the fires, according to the press release. A pre-application for those looking for assistance is available now at dollywoodfoundation.org.
Those looking to donate to the My People Fund can do so now on the Dollywood Foundation website, or via mail:
My People Fund
c/o Dollywood Foundation
111 Dollywood Ln.
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
During the Smoky Mountains Rise telethon, viewers will be able to call 1-866-CARE MORE to donate.
A Dec. 3 update from the Tennessee Emergency Management Association reports that there are 13 confirmed deaths and 100 confirmed injuries due to the fires. During the evacuations, guests of Dollywood’s cabins and DreamMore Resort were relocated; though the theme park itself was unharmed, a dozen of its Smoky Mountain Cabins were damaged or destroyed. According to TEMA, 1,413 structures were damaged or destroyed by the fires.
Country Songs Inspired By Big Tragedies
11 Unforgettable Dolly Parton Moments