Food City Provides $750,000 To Aid Gatlinburg Fire Recovery  

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016)— Thanks to the generosity of Food City, their customers, associates and more, the company today presented checks to the Dollywood Foundation My People Fund and the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Gatlinburg Relief Fund totaling $750,000.

“Our company has been privileged to operate in the Sevier County/Gatlinburg area for more than thirty years and we certainly want to do everything possible to help our friends and neighbors recover from this devastating disaster,” said Steven C. Smith, Food City President/CEO.

Food City designated $500,000 to benefit the Gatlinburg Relief Fund, while the remaining $250,000 was directed to the My People Fund.

“Over the past month, we’ve received a tremendous outpouring of support – literally from around the nation. Words fail to be able to adequately express our sincere appreciation to our customers, associates, vendor, media and NASCAR partners for their extreme generosity and passionate response in making this donation possible,” said Smith.

The Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Gatlinburg Relief Fund will provide financial relief directly to the immediate families of each individual who lost their life due to the fires and to the employees who are currently unemployed because the fire destroyed the business where they worked.

“This generous donation by Food City allows us to begin working to help the families affected by the wildfires,” said Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner. “We are so appreciative to them, their customers and everyone else who have made this possible. We have a long road ahead of us, but we are ‘Mountain Tough,’ and with help like this from our friends at Food City, we’ll be able to help so many of those who are now unemployed because of the fires.”

The large donation helps the Dollywood Foundation’s mission to provide monetary assistance to the families who lost their primary residence—owners or renters—in the wildfires. From December to May, the My People Fund will provide $1000 each month to every family who lost their primary residence in the November wildfires.

During the first four-day check distribution, 884 families received support payments through the My People Fund. The next distribution is scheduled for Jan. 26-27, 2017 at the LeConte Events Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

“We’re honored to have the opportunity to present these funds to two extremely well respected organizations who are working diligently to ensure the needs of the Gatlinburg/Sevier County community are being met in the quickest, most efficient manner possible,” said Smith.

-dollywood2016-

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.

Dollywood 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