Dolly Parton Hosts Telethon for Smoky Mountains

Country’s top stars come together to raise money for families devastated by wildfires in HGTV’s home of east Tennessee. 

When disaster strikes, everyone looks for a hometown hero to help. In the case of the recent wildfires in east Tennessee, and particularly Great Smoky Mountains National Park and its gateway towns, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, that hometown hero’s name is Dolly Parton.



“My home in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee is some place special,” Parton said. “Wildfires have affected many of the people—my people—who live in those beautiful mountains.”

You may know that the Smoky Mountains are the birthplace of country music and of Dolly, the genre’s sweetheart, but you will probably be surprised to learn that these mountains are also the home of HGTV, which started in Knoxville, Tennessee, more than 20 years ago. That’s why this disaster hits so close to our hearts and, literally, to our homes.

And that’s also why we’re proud to let you know that on Tuesday, December 13 at 8 p.m. (EST), our sister network, Great American Country, will air Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund to help Dolly and friends raise funds that will help families in the area. “We want to provide a hand up to those families who have lost everything in the fires,” Parton said. “I know it has been a trying time for my people and this assistance will help get them back on their feet.”

Dolly’s guests next Tuesday night will include Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers, Alison Krauss, Chris Stapleton, Amy Grant and more. Other stars have committed funds. Country-pop star Taylor Swift has pledged $100,000, a matching gift that increased the Academy of Country Music’s gift to $200,000.

How to Help

Gatlinburg, Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

The resort town of Gatlinburg is nestled into the lush hills of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park and town were evacuated during recent wildfires, in which 14 people were killed and 17,000 acres burned. 

Photo by: Gary Heatherly

Gary Heatherly

The resort town of Gatlinburg is nestled into the lush hills of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park and town were evacuated during recent wildfires, in which 14 people were killed and 17,000 acres burned. 

Watch the nationally broadcast, three-hour telethon on Great American Country, which seeks to raise money for the Dollywood Foundation My People Fund, established by Parton, The Dollywood Company and Parton’s dinner theaters.

During the telethon, viewers will be asked to call 1-866-CARE MORE 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.

Gorgeous Great Smoky Mountains

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You can also help the Dollywood Foundation share the word about this effort by using the hashtags #MyPeopleFund and #someplacespecial.

GAC Celebrates the Smokies

Why We Love the Great Smoky Mountains

The staff at Great American Country shares their love of the national park and surrounding areas in pictures and memories. 

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