Hank Williams Jr., RaeLynn and More Step Up for ‘Smoky Mountains Rise’ Telethon
Celebrities from the country music world and beyond are continuing to answer Dolly Parton's call for help with her Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund telethon. Hank Williams Jr., RaeLynn and many more have signed on for the event.
In addition to Williams Jr., newly added performers for Smoky Mountains Rise include Cyndi Lauper, Alabama, Don McLean, Ronnie Dunn, Jamey Johnson and Lauren Alaina. They join previously announced performers Chris Stapleton, Chris Young, Big & Rich, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, LoCash, Chris Janson, Montgomery Gentry, Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers and Alison Krauss. Additionally, RaeLynn will be helping to answer phones during the telethon, as will Paula Deen and sons Bobby and Jamie, Dailey & Vincent, TG Sheppard, Larry Gatlin, comedian Henry Cho and more.
“Every day, I’m touched even more by the number of people who are joining us to help raise money for the people of the Smoky Mountains,” Parton says in a press release. “It is a special place, and I’m honored that these people care so much about what we’re doing through the My People Fund to help those who have lost everything due to the wildfires.”
Parton’s benefit event will air on the Great American Country network, AXS TV, RFD and the Heartland Network from 8PM ET until 11PM ET on Dec. 13. A number of other platforms — The Boot and Taste of Country, iHeartMedia’s digital and on-air channels, Cumulus Media’s Nash Nights Live, TuneIn’s Country Roads channel, USAToday.com and USA Today National Networks — will simulcast the event.
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.
The Tennessee Emergency Management Association reports that there are more than a dozen confirmed deaths and more than 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, nearly 1,500 structures were damaged or destroyed by the fires.
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