Dolly Parton and a number of her friends, including Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers and Alison Krauss, are set to perform during Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. (EST) on Great American Country (GAC).
UPDATE: Chris Stapleton, Chris Young, Big & Rich, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, LOCASH, Chris Janson, Montgomery Gentry, Hank Williams Jr., Jamey Johnson, Cyndi Lauper, Don McLean, Amy Grant, Alabama, Aaron Lewis and Rhonda Vincent. are just a few of the new names added to perform during the event, which also has added three new broadcast partners, AXS TV, RFD and The Heartland Network. In addition, USAToday.com and USA Today National Networks to live stream the telethon on their affiliate newspaper websites, including all Tennessee newspaper sites Tennessean.com, Knoxnews.com, commercialappeal.com, jacksonsun.com, theleafchronicle.com, dnj.com, and others.
Nearly $500,000 of donations already have been committed before the Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund telethon has even started. The telethon already has received pledges from Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney and both the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and the Country Music Association (CMA).
Although Dolly will be hosting the overall telethon, friends HLN’s Robin Meade, GAC’s Suzanne Alexander and Nan Kelly, The Bobby Bones Show’s Bobby Bones, SiriusXM’s Storme Warren, Crook & Chase hosts Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase, NASH Nights LIVE’s Shaun Parr and Elaina D. Smith, and TuneIn Country Roads’ Kelly Sutton will share hosting duties throughout the 3-hour broadcast.
Celebrities donating their time to answer phones include: Paula Deen and her sons Bobby and Jamie, Chrisley Knows Best cast members Todd, Julie and Savannah, Moonshiners’ cast members Mark and Digger, Nashville’s Charles Esten, cast members of Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors, country hit-makers Chris & Morgane Stapleton, Terri Clark, Mark Wills, Lee Greenwood, Larry Gatlin, T.G. Sheppard, Highway 101’s Paulette Carlson, John Conlee, Ronnie McDowell, Kristian Bush, Tim Rushlow, T. Graham Brown, Dolly’s nieces Rebecca Seaver and Danielle Parton, bluegrass hitmakers Lorraine Jordan and Darrin Vincent, comedian Henry Cho, KC of KC and the Sunshine Band, hot new country artists Brett Young, Cassadee Pope, RaeLynn, Danielle Bradbury, Lucas Hoge, Denny Strickland, songwriter Becky Hobbs, and members of the Tennessee Titans.
Several other celebrities are sharing special video messages during the telethon including: Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood, Larry King, Steve Harvey, Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, and Today Show’s Willie Geist.
The nationally broadcast, three-hour telethon seeks to raise money for the Dollywood Foundation My People Fund, established by Parton, The Dollywood Company and Partons dinner theaters in the wake of last weeks wildfires in the entertainment icons home area of Sevier County, Tennessee. Smoky Mountains Rise also will be simulcast across multiple radio chains, including iHeart Media’s digital and select on-air platforms, Cumulus Media’s NASH Nights LIVE, TuneIn’s Country Roads channel, and several other platforms which are set to be announced shortly. Additionally, other celebrities joining Smoky Mountains Rise include will be announced in the coming days.
“My home in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee is some place special,” Parton said. “Wildfires have affected many of the people—my people—who live in those beautiful mountains. We want to provide a hand up to those families who have lost everything in the fires. I know it has been a trying time for my people and this assistance will help get them back on their feet.”
The My People Fund will provide $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.
During the telethon, viewers will be asked to call 1-866-CARE MORE to donate to the My People Fund.
Anyone who would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to the My People Fund may visit dollywoodfoundation.org. For those wishing to send donations via mail, those contributions should be sent to: My People Fund, c/o Dollywood Foundation, 111 Dollywood Lane, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863.