Country stars and “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts, who calls Pass Christian home, will donate their time and talent Tuesday night to help raise money for one of America’s favorite tourism meccas.
Dolly Parton will lead the “Smoky Mountains Rising: A Benefit for My People” telethon Tuesday starting at 7 p.m. The telethon is a fundraiser for the more than 1,300 families who lost their homes due to the recent fires in and around Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Parton is a native of the area. The Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund will provide $1,000 each month for six months to every family who lost their primary residence. The monthly pledge is in excess of $1.3 million. So far, more than $500,000 has been donated including, $100,000 from the Academy of Country Music and $100,000 from Taylor Swift.
“The donations that are already coming in are so special to me,” Parton said in a press release. “It means there are a lot of people behind us and ready to help us. There is still so much need to support the people of the Smoky Mountains, but thanks to Taylor and Kenny (Chesney) and both the ACM and CMA for gettin’ us started with such huge donations.”
Among those expected to join Parton on Tuesday night are Alabama, Hank Williams Jr., Kenny Rogers, Cyndi Lauper, Reba McEntire and Jamey Johnson.
Roberts will be joining Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood and others in sharing video messages during the telecast.
“Smoky Mountain Rising” can be seen on GAC, AXS-TV, RFD and The Heartland Network. It will be streamed live online at USAToday.com and Tennessee newspaper sites including Tennessean.com, Knoxnews.com, commercialappeal.com, jacksonsun.com, theleafchronicle.com and dnj.com.
The hashtag for the event is #MyPeopleFund.