Dolly Parton's 'Smoky Mountain Rise: A Benefit For The My People Fund' Telethon Raises Millions
December 14, 2016 at 1:24 PM (PT)
DOLLY PARTON's "SMOKY MOUNTAIN RISE: A BENEFIT FOR THE MY PEOPLE FUND" telethon was held last NIGHT (12/13) in NASHVILLE and was broadcast on GAC-TV, AXS-TV, RFD-TV, and THE HEARTLAND NETWORK beginning at 8p (ET).
The telethon, which was immediately re-broadcast on the WEST COAST, was also simulcast across multiple radio platforms, including iHEARTMEDIA digital and select on-air platforms, CUMULUS' nationally syndicated "NASH NIGHTS LIVE," TUNEIN's COUNTRY ROADS channel, and more, with USA TODAY NATIONAL NETWORKS and USATODAY.com live streaming the telethon via its affiliate newspaper sites, including all TENNESSEE newspapers (NET NEWS 12/12).
The telethon was off to a head start with donations of $100,000 each from TAYLOR SWIFT and the ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC (ACM) (NET NEWS 12/9), as well as $250,000 each from KENNY CHESNEY and the COUNTRY MUSIC ASSOCIATION (CMA) (NET NEWS 12/9). CUMULUS Country WIVK/KNOXVILLE PD NIKKI THOMAS and morning co-hosts ANDY and ALISON were on-site to present the check from the station's radiothon, which raised over $315,000 (NET NEWS 12/7). Additionally, DIERKS BENTLEY and PAUL SIMON each called in to pledge $100,000; the TENNESSEE TITANS organization contributed $144,270; CMT donated $100,000; and CHRIS YOUNG added $50,000 to the CMA's contribution.
PARTON's "MY PEOPLE FUND" will provide $1,000 per month to SEVIER COUNTY families who lost their homes during the GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAIN wildfires last MONTH (NET NEWS 12/1). Over 1,000 homes were lost, 14 people died, and over 17,000 acres were burned during the fires; PARTON's original goal for the telethon was set at $13 million.
More than 20 artists participated in the telethon, including KENNY ROGERS, REBA, YOUNG, CHRIS STAPLETON, BIG & RICH, LOCASH, CHRIS JANSON, HANK WILLIAMS JR., ALABAMA, JAMEY JOHNSON, ALISON KRAUSS, LAUREN ALAINA, and more. Other artists and celebrities were on hand to answer phones as donations poured in from across the country. Donations are being accepted until 3a (ET) TOMORROW (12/15) here to count toward the telethon total.