A star-studded line up of country stars came together on Tuesday, Dec. 13 to raise money for victims of the East Tennessee wildfires. Dolly Parton’s Smokey Mountains Rise telethon led to such a huge response that phone lines were overwhelmed. Organizers had to add two extra lines to accommodate the amount of people calling in.
During the telethon, many stars performed and called in to show their support for Parton’s “My People Fund.”
Kenny Rogers, Hank Williams Jr., Chris Stapleton, Reba McEntire, Alison Krauss, Michael W. Smith, Chris Janson, Big & Rich, LOCASH, Chris Young, Montgomery Gentry, Jamey Johnson, Cyndi Lauper, Don McLean, Amy Grant, Alabama, Aaron Lewis, Rhonda Vincent and Keith Urban were among those who showed their support.
The total wasn’t revealed until late Tuesday night, so phone lines could stay open until 3 a.m for those on the West Coast. After the lines were closed, the totals were added up, revealing that My People Fund raised approximately $9 million.
Nearly $500,000 of donations were already committed before the telethon even started on Tuesday evening. The My People Fund will also provide $1000 each month to Sevier County families whose homes are unreachable or destroyed from the recent Smoky Mountain wildfires.
You can still make a donation to the My People Fund at dollywoodfoundation.org.