Dolly Parton Hosts Telethon For The Smokies

Posted at 3:58 PM, Dec 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-14 00:00:08-05

Country music star Dolly Parton will host the "Smoky Mountains Rise" telethon to benefit those effected by the wildfires in Sevier County.

The number to call is 1-866-CAREMORE. 

To donate online, click here. You can also donate by texting "DOLLY" for a one time $10 donation or "DOLLY25" to 501501 for a one time donation of $25.

The phone lines were so busy during the telethon that a second line was added for callers to use: 1-800-942-9026.

The wildfires on Nov. 28 became the largest fire in the past 100 years in the state of Tennessee. More than 1300 families were displaced by the fire.

“Everybody goes to the mountains. Their children, those hiking trails, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited National Park in the United States, so it ain’t just about it being my home, this is one of the greatest tourist areas in all of Tennessee or in the South I think or in the world as far as I’m concerned," said Dolly.

It claimed 14 lives and burned tens of thousands of acres. Two juveniles have since been arrested and charged with aggravated arson.

Nearly $500,000 of donations already have been committed to the victims through Dolly's My Peaple Fund before the telethon.

The broadcast began at 7 p.m. CST. 

The artists set to play are:

  • Kenny Rogers
  • Hank Williams Jr.
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Reba McEntire
  •  Alison Krauss
  • Michael W. Smith
  • Chris Janson
  • Big & Rich
  • Chris Young
  • Montgomery Gentry
  • Jamey Johnson
  • Cyndi Lauper
  • Don McLean
  • Amy Grant
  • Alabama
  • Aaron Lewis
  • Rhonda Vincent

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.

  • 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
  • Brett Young
  • Cassadee Pope
  • RaeLynn
  • Danielle Bradbury
  • Lucas Hoge
  • Denny Strickland
  • Songwriter Becky Hobbs
  • Members of the Tennessee Titans

Artists said the even isn't just about raising money, but about bringing people and communities together to help the victims in need.

“That’s what Country Music is, I mean, we’re a big family, and when one of us needs the other to step up and help out, that’s what we do, and there’s no thinking about it, you just show up, it’s family," said LOCASH.

The County Music Association and Kenny Chesney donated $250,000. The Academy of Country Music and pop star Taylor Swift donated $100,000.

Dollar General donated $300,000 to the fund. Belmont University donated $155,000.

Dolly pledged $1,000 each month for six months to every family who lost their primary residence Through the My People Fund. Currently, the monthly pledge is in excess of $1.3 million each month.