Dolly Parton's Telethon for Wildfire Victims Raised Over $9 Million, Organizers Say
The singer raised money for victims of recent fires in eastern Tennessee.
By CHRISTOPHER WATSON
December 15, 2016, 4:33 PM
• 3 min read
-- Sounds like Dolly Parton has raised some serious money for her neighbors in the Smoky Mountains.
The country music legend’s "Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund" telethon on Tuesday night brought in more than $9 million for relief efforts for people in eastern Tennessee affected by recent wildfires, according to organizers.
The fires that broke out in late November killed 14 people and damaged or destroyed more than 2,400 buildings -- including more than 2,100 homes and with nearly 60 businesses destroyed -- in the Gatlinburg area in Sevier County, Tennessee, officials have said, according to The Associated Press. Property damage has been estimated at more than $500 million.
“I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the people who have donated from all over the country and to my friends who donated their time, their talent, and money for 'My People,'” Parton, who was born and raised in Sevier County, said in a statement. “The response has been so overwhelming that we haven’t been able to count all of the donations yet.”
The telethon was broadcast on GAC, AXS-TV, RFD and The Heartland Network as well as online. Dozens of musicians and celebrities performed and donated their time, including Parton's longtime friend Kenny Rogers, Hank Williams Jr., Chris Stapleton, Reba, Alison Krauss, Chris Young, Montgomery Gentry, Jamey Johnson, Cyndi Lauper and more.