Published November 29, 2016 / Last Updated January 5, 2017
Update December 2, 2016: The My People Fund has been established to help Sevier County families who lost their homes in the wildfires. The Fund will provide $1000 each month for up to six months to any family who lost their primary residence (renters and homeowners) due to the wildfires.
The primary resident of the lost home will need to visit us in person at our CARE MORE Assistance Center located at the LeConte Center (2986 Teaster Lane, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863) on December 15, 16, 19 or 20 from 10am to 7pm.
Update December 1, 2016: In a video message, Dolly Parton announced a new effort by The Dollywood Company and The Dollywood Foundation to establish a fund to assist the victims of the Great Smoky Mountain wildfires in Tennessee. The new My People Fund will provide $1000 each month to Sevier County families who lost their homes.
More information on the program will be released on Friday, December 2. Dolly said,
“I’ve always believed charity begins at home and my home is some place special,” Parton explained. “That’s why I’ve asked my Dollywood Companies—including the Dollywood theme park, and DreamMore Resort; my dinner theater attractions including Dixie Stampede and Lumberjack Adventure; and my Dollywood Foundation—to help me establish the My People Fund.
“We want to provide a hand up to those families who have lost everything in the fires. I know it has been a trying time for my people and this assistance will help get them back on their feet.”
Special Statement: Sevier County Wildfires
Update November 29, 2016, 5:00 pm: After assessing the damage wrought by recent wildfires in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Dollywood is focusing its efforts for the next two days supporting the community.
Dollywood hosts have joined in supporting the needs of their fellow hosts affected as well as assisting other area businesses in supplying personal care items to the shelter at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge and they continue to feed and house firefighters and first responders.
Thanks to the hard work by community firefighters and first responders, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort is open to guests. The Dollywood theme park will resume normal operation on Friday, December 2 at 2 p.m.
Wildfires in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains continue to affect several areas of Sevier County including Dollywood. In a special message Dolly Parton said,
“I have been watching the terrible fires in the Great Smoky Mountains and I am heartbroken. I am praying for all the families affected by the fire and the firefighters who are working so hard to keep everyone safe. It is a blessing that my Dollywood theme park, the DreamMore Resort and so many businesses in Pigeon Forge have been spared.”
An assessment this morning revealed no damage to the Dollywood park itself but more than a dozen cabins managed through Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins were damaged or destroyed. Also, no damage to either Dixie Stampede nor Lumberjack Adventure.
As the cities continue to assess the damage and impact of the fires, Dollywood has suspended park operation for Wednesday, November 30. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort will be open on a limited basis for those in need and for registered guests. Additionally, Dixie Stampede and Lumberjack Adventure have suspended show operation for Tuesday, November 29.
Last night, for the safety of our guests, resort staff evacuated families in 50 rooms staying at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and families staying in 19 cabins at Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins.
We continue to assist firefighters and rescue personnel in any way we can and will provide details of any further developments as and when they are available. For those interested in helping victims of the wildfires, contact the American Red Cross 1-800- Red Cross or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate ten dollars to American Red Cross disaster relief.