Dolly Parton Planning Telethon for East Tennessee Wildfire Victims
Dolly Parton's home county is recovering from deadly and destructive wildfires, and the country icon is stepping up to help in a big way: She's organizing a telethon to support those affected.
MusicRow reports that Parton has scheduled a telethon for Dec. 13 in Nashville, to raise money for her My People Fund. The singer established the fund to provide $1,000 a month for six months to each of the families who lost their home due to the wildfires in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
“I know there are a lot of great events being planned to help the people of East Tennessee," Parton shares. "However, I am planning a telethon to support the My People Fund, where 100 percent of the money will help those who lost their homes in the wildfire."
Further information about the telethon has yet to be announced.
On Nov. 28, residents of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge — resort towns in East Tennessee’s Sevier County — were evacuated after wildfires spread into those areas. A Sunday (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.
“I have been watching the terrible fires in the Great Smoky Mountains, and I am heartbroken. I am praying for all the families affected by the fire and the firefighters who are working so hard to keep everyone safe,” Parton said in a statement on Nov. 29. “It is a blessing that my Dollywood theme park, the DreamMore Resort and so many businesses in Pigeon Forge have been spared.”
According to TEMA, 1,413 structures were damaged or destroyed by the fires.
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