Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift Make Donations to Aid Wildfire Relief
Many country stars, from Dolly Parton to Zac Brown Band, have announced ways to step up to the plate and give back to the victims who lost everything in the Sevier County wildfires. As an East Tennessee native and dedicated citizen, Kenny Chesney has teamed up with CMA to match the donated funds earned to help out the locals affected by the devastation.
The horrific wildfires, which caused 14 deaths and damaged or destroyed more than 2,400 homes and business, roared throughout the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge communities and caused many to be without their belongings or property.
As a devoted member of the East Tennessee community, Chesney and CMA announced they would be donating a total of $500,000 ($250,000 each) to aid families hit by the fires. The country star understood the call of duty as a local himself, and wanted to revive the spirit back into his hometown areas.
“Growing up in East Tennessee, the only thing greater than the beauty of the region is the heart of the people who live there,” said Chesney. “It is devastating to think of what’s been lost in terms of the fire, but overwhelming for the families facing rebuilding their lives – in many cases – from scratch. I’m appreciative that CMA shares my hope that these families can feel our love at a time of such tragedy.”
A portion of the proceeds will be given to Parton’s My People Fund, which is dedicated to funding $1,000 a month to people who lost absolutely everything in the wildfires.
It was also recently announced that former country artist Taylor Swift would also be among the group of superstars giving back thousands of dollars in coordination with the Academy of Country Music and ACM Lifting Lives during Parton’s telethon, Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund, to help out the communities that were impacted by the desolation. Together, the Swift and the ACM pledged $200,000 before the phone lines start ringing to make sure the event goes off without a hitch.
Those who would like to help out with the cause can log on to dollywoodfoundation.org and donate online.