Country Superstar Kenny Chesney has teamed up with the Country Music Association (CMA) and with their combined resources will lean in to help those affected by the wildfires in Gatlinburg, TN. The wildfires wreaked havoc throughout the area, resulting in fourteen deaths and massive destruction and damage of over 2,400 homes and businesses.
Hailing from East Tennessee, the disaster hit Chesney hard and he’s been making great strides and efforts to support many as they recover from this horrific disaster.
“Growing up in East Tennessee, the only thing greater than the beauty of the region is the heart of the people who live there,” said Chesney, a four-time CMA Entertainer of the Year. “It is devastating to think of what’s been lost in terms of the fire, but overwhelming for the families facing rebuilding their lives – in many cases – from scratch. I’m appreciative that CMA shares my hope that these families can feel our love at a time of such tragedy.”
“At CMA we feel such a strong connection to the residents of the area who have lost loved ones, as well as those that have lost personal property or income from businesses that are now closed,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “Many of our artists and CMA members have close ties to the region as well; and we are grateful to Kenny for his leadership and honored to support him in the recovery efforts in East Tennessee.”
Collectively, $500,000 will be donated from Chesney and the CMA ($250K each), with a portion of the proceeds being donated to the My People Fund that Dolly Parton spearheaded. The fund will provide $1,000/month for six months to those in Sevier County who lost their homes in the wildfires.
“Our goal is to fulfill specific needs by working with organizations like Dolly’s My People Fund that have a clear mission and the structure to assist a wide-range of people by providing a broad range of resources,” said Trahern.
Remaining funds will be distributed among established local agencies providing help and services to those impacted by the devastation from the wildfires.