Millions tuned in Tuesday night (Dec. 13) for Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund telethon, featuring performances by Chris Janson, Cyndi Lauper and more, and similarly millions of dollars were raised for the cause.
Parton has been hands-on in advocating and fundraising for the communities affected by the Tennessee wildfires — which took the lives of 14 people and displaced over 1,300 families — since they initially began at the end of Nov. and this culmination has been a great feat.
“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,” said Parton. “The response has been so overwhelming that we haven’t been able to count all of the donations yet; right now, in total, we have raised about 9 million dollars for the folks who lost everything in Sevier County.”
The Academy of Country Music donated generous $100,000 — with Taylor Swift matching the donation and the Country Music Association donated $125,000, which was matched by Kenny Chesney. The total amount is still expected to rise as donations are continue to come in by mail.
The Dollywood Foundation My People Fund will be providing $1,000 every month for six months to each family who lost their home.