My People Fund giving $3 million to Mountain Tough after wildfires
Dolly Parton smiles and waves to fans as she steps off her tour bus and enters her new dinner show Smoky Mountain Adventures in Pigeon Forge on Friday, May 5, 2017. (Photo: BRIANNA PACIORKA/NEWS SENTINEL)
PIGEON FORGE (WBIR) -
Dolly Parton is planning to turn over $3 million from the 'My People Fund' to the Mountain Tough Fund to ensure wildfire victims keep getting the help they need.
East Tennessee's favorite daughter made the announcement Friday morning while in town for the annual Dolly Parton homecoming celebration and to debut her new dinner show.
She explained that they had no idea how much money would be raised through donations and the Smoky Mountains Rise telethon.
She added that over the next two to three years, that money will help pay for things wildfire victims might not think about including injuries, transportation to work, and more.
"We’re really pleased to partner with Mountain Tough on this endeavor," Dollywood Foundation President David Dotson said. "We’ll have at least $3 million, and honestly money is still coming in."
"Our folks have come a long way, but for many there's a long way to go," Dotson added.
Dolly also had a message for people around the country...Sevier County is open for business!
“We wanted to assure people that this is still the place to come for your vacation. And that would be the best way for us to restore and get back to business as usual,” Parton exclaimed.
This weekend, Dollywood is also celebrating the grand opening of its newest ride, Drop Line. But don't expect to see Dolly riding it with you.
“You’d have to be crazy or a kid to want to drop 230 feet, but there’s a lot of crazy people out there and I’m sure they’re going to love it,” she said. Dollywood is also opening a new waterslide this summer called Tailspin Racer.
"I'm not getting on that either," Parton joked.
Before Friday's big announcement, held at Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain Adventures Show, they showed an emotional video featuring some of the fund recipients.
Dolly watched it back stage and said later that the stories made her cry. "My false eyelashes may be anywhere right now," Parton joked.
Later on the cast of Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain Adventures show performed as part of its grand opening celebration.
It's located at the former Lumberjack Adventures theater in Pigeon Forge. Parton explained that after seeing how everyone fell in love with her parents through "Coat of Many Colors" and "Chrismas of Many Colors" movies, they decided to make her family a bigger part of this Pigeon Forge show.