Smoky Mountains Rise Telethon Raises Nearly $9 Million

Smoky Mountains Rise Telethon Raises Nearly $9 Million And Counting

A few weeks ago, the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevier County of Tennessee were devastated by wildfires. Many of you wanted to know how you could help. One of the many ways to help was by making donations during the Smoky Mountains Rise Telethon that was broadcast on several TV stations a few days ago. I am happy to say that the star-studded event, which included performances by Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Reba McEntire, Alabama and many more, brought in so many donations that it has slowed the final tally which is currently at almost $9 million!

Star-Studded Smoky Mountains Rise Telethon Raises Nearly $9 Million, So Far

Millions watched Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund telethon and millions were raised. The telethon, broadcast on GAC, AXS-TV, RFD and The Heartland Network Tuesday, received huge donations from music stars like Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, Chris Stapleton, Chris Young, Paul Simon and Dierks Bentley but also from families across the country who just want to give the people of Dolly Parton’s home area a hand up in the tragic wildfires.

“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, talent and money for My People,” Parton explained. “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 total amount raised is expected to rise as mail donations are counted and the telethon is rebroadcast to new audiences over the next five days.

How To Donate To The My People Fund

Anyone who would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to the My People Fund may visit

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.

Donations are also being accepted by texting DOLLY to 501501 for a onetime $10 donation or DOLLY25 to 501501 for a onetime $25 donation. Messaging and data rates will apply.

More than 1300 families have been displaced due to the wildfires which spread across Parton’s home area of Sevier County, Tennessee in late November. The entertainment icon established the Dollywood Foundation My People Fund to provide $1000 each month for six months to every family who lost their primary residence.

Artists who donated their performances to the effort include: Dolly Parton, 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 and Rhonda Vincent.

Parton hosted the overall telethon with 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 Lorriane Crook and Charlie Chase, Nash Night LIVE’s Shaun Parr and Elaina D. Smith, and TuneIn Country Roads’ Kelly Sutton will share hosting duties throughout the three-hour broadcast.

Celebrities also donated their time to answer phones including: 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, Mark Wills, Lee Greenwood, Larry and Rudy Gatlin, TG Sheppard, John Conlee, Ronnie McDowell, Kristian Bush, Tim Rushlow, T. Graham Brown, Dolly’s nieces Rebecca Seaver and Danielle Parton, bluegrass hit makers Lorraine Jordan and Darrin Vincent, comedian Henry Cho, KC of KC & 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 shared 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.

Smoky Mountains Rise was also 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, RURAL Radio on SiriusXM plus cross-promotion on The Highway, Prime Country, Y2Kountry and The Garth Channel, CBS Radio, ABC Radio Networks, and several other platforms which are set to be announced shortly. All of the artists are donating their performances to help the effort. and USA Today National Networks live streamed the telethon on their affiliate newspaper websites, including all Tennessee newspaper sites,,,,,, and others.

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

You can also learn about other ways that you can donate here.

About Dawn McAlexander

Dawn is a full time travel and lifestyle blogger. Besides Cheap Is The New Classy, she also owns and writes for, an entertainment site. Her interests include traveling, home decor, DIY projects, organizing her home and enjoying a nice cup of coffee {or two}. She currently resides in North Carolina with her dog, Daisy.


  1. Robin Masshole Mommy says

    Oh man, I didn’t know about the wildfires in that area. What a scary situation.

  2. Wow, the telethon raised $9 million and counting? That’s amazing. So cool how the music community and other Hollywood stars came together to raise money for the folks in Gatlinburg.

  3. That is great, what an fabulous amount of money raised. I had no idea what was going on there but so glad they were able to help.

  4. Wow! I live in the Northwest and don’t have standard cable, so I didn’t know about this. But giving to those families who lost their homes in the fire is amazing and definitely a cause worth giving to.

  5. Kristie McCollum says

    I have been hearing about this situation and it’s so heartwrenching! I am so glad that there are people out there striving to make a difference for those affected. Thank you for sharing this, it’s good to hear good come out of this bad experience.

  6. I haven’t seen much press about this (but I don’t watch the news often any more). I love that Dolly and her team stepped up to help!

  7. Wow! Down here in Texas, we didn’t even hear about this on the news! So sad! I am so glad so much money has been raised to help them!

  8. What an awful thing to happen, but that’s amazing that so much had been raised! People become so generous when they’re able to help others in need.

  9. I love when bloggers actually talk about something that matters. This is such a great cause, thanks for sharing my dear!

  10. I heard about the wildfires when they happened and I was really sad for all of those affected by them. I also love how Dolly Parton stepped in to lend her support and some finances to back up that support.

  11. That is a sad incident – so devastating for the families who’ve lost it all. Love all the good work put together by Dolly Parton, and people like you, who are with her 🙂

  12. CourtneyLynne says

    Makes me sad to think about what happened in Tennessee!!! Glad to hear funds are being made. Awesome how people have come together to help

  13. Wow, what an awesome fundraiser. It is so sad what happened in Tennessee, but great there is some help for them!

  14. It was so sad to hear about this in TN, and I remember seeing a lot of social media outpour. That’s the awesome thing about social media. People can help in times of dire need! Thanks for sharing all of this information for the relief funds, this is an awesome fundraiser! xx Adaleta Avdic

  15. Wonderful! So glad they got such a large donation. Sending love to all the victims and dear Dolly.