Dolly Parton’s My People Fund Serves Nearly 900 Families In First Distribution

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016) — In a little more than two weeks after the wildfires that spread across Dolly Parton’s home area of Sevier County, Tennessee, Parton and the Dollywood Foundation launched the distribution of assistance from the My People Fund.  During the four day check distribution, 884 families received their initial support payments.

“It’s a blessing during this holiday season that we are able to help as many families as we have so far,” Parton said. “We know there are more families out there who need our help and we encourage them to be in contact with us before our January distribution.”

The Dollywood Foundation My People Fund provides $1000 each month to Sevier County families whose homes are uninhabitable or were completely destroyed in the recent Smoky Mountain wildfires. Any family who lost their primary residence (renters and homeowners) due to the wildfires in Sevier County will be eligible. A pre-application for those affected is available at dollywoodfoundation.org.

Millions of people watched Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund telethon on Tuesday, December 13 on GAC, AXS-TV, RFD and The Heartland Network and during several rebroadcasts on throughout the last weekend.  As a result, donations continued to roll in and thanks to generous people from coast to coast and Parton’s friends, the total amount raised has climbed to $9.3 million.

“As, Dolly said, the response has been overwhelming,” David Dotson, Dollywood Foundation President said.  “We will distribute all $9.3 million to the families affected. That will insure all of the money raised will go to where Dolly promised it would.”

The next distribution is January 26 and 27, 2017 at the LeConte Events Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

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About the Dollywood Foundation My People Fund: More than 1300 families have been displaced due to the wildfires which spread across Parton’s home area of Sevier County, Tennessee in late November. The entertainment icon established the Dollywood Foundation My People Fund to provide $1000 each month for six months to every family who lost their primary residence.

About Smoky Mountains Rise: Smoky Mountains Rise was a three-hour telethon broadcast on Tuesday, Dec. 13 to raise money for the Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund to benefit those affected by the Sevier County, Tennessee wildfires. Smoky Mountains Rise was executive produced by Dolly Parton, Danny Nozell, Kirt Webster, Pete Owens and Scott Durand. Produced by Edie Hoback, Jeremy Westby, Shanna Strassberg, Nic Dugger and Shantel Klinger.

 

About The Dollywood Company:   A highly-awarded and widely-recognized leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the 150-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country; Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort; and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade; winner of nearly 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 25 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). In 2014, Dollywood was named a top three US theme park by USA Today and TripAdvisor recognized Dollywood as a top 20 worldwide theme park in 2015. Dollywood is open nine months a year (late March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region.  Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s most beautiful waterparks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The 300-room Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

Media Contacts:

Pete Owens: Director of Communications, (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 or powens@dollywood.com

Wes Ramey: Public Relations Manager, (865) 428-9484, (865) 640-3805 or wramey@dollywood.com

Amber Davis: Publicist, (865) 428-9601, (865) 591-1002 or aldavis@dollywood.com

Ellen Liston, Publicist, (865) 428-9629, (865) 919-7001 or eliston@dollywood.com