East Tennessee native and longtime Nashville resident Dolly Parton announced plans today for Dolly Helps Nashville, a fundraising weekend set for May 22 and 23, with net admission proceeds from her Dollywood and Dixie Stampede properties in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. earmarked for Music City flood relief efforts.
Parton will make several special appearances at various theaters and locations throughout Dollywood and at Dixie Stampede to greet guests who visit for the weekend event.
“I grew up in the Smokies in East Tennessee, which was my first home. I moved to Nashville 46 years ago and that is my home now," Parton said. "I have family and friends in both places, and when one place hurts; I think it is just right for the other to help. On May 22 and 23, I'm having my Dollywood and Dixie Stampede companies help me host my Dolly Helps Nashville weekend. The net proceeds from the admission of the guests to Dollywood and my Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge will go to a special fund to assist Nashville flood victims. We're especially going to concentrate on those folks who lost their homes and personal possessions in this terrible flood."
Davidson and three surrounding counties were declared federal disaster areas after record-breaking rainfall on May 1 and 2 devastated the area and destroyed homes and businesses. With strong roots in the Nashville community, Parton felt the impact of the natural disaster and organized Dolly Helps Nashville to aid those displaced by the flood.
“So many of the folks from Nashville come to the Smokies to vacation; over the last 25 years, they have helped Dollywood, Dixie Stampede and Dollywood’s Splash Country and this entire vacation area grow," Parton added. "That's why it's our turn to help.”
Parton is calling on other East Tennessee businesses and attractions to show their support as well. "I am challenging other businesses in Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Gatlinburg to make this a destination-wide effort."
Parton also issued a plea to her fans to help the fundraising effort reach its full potential. "I want all of my fans worldwide to come to Dollywood the weekend of May 22 and 23," Parton said. "If you can't be there in person, then I hope you'll donate to flood victims through the Dollywood Foundation online at http://www.dollyparton.com.
For more information on the flood relief effort, please visit http://www.dollyparton.com. See Dolly's video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGa_V6OGYNY
It should also be noted that tomorrow, the proceeds from the above efforts will be donated by Dolly Parton to aid the flood victims. We'll have more news on that soon.
WHAT: The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson
WHEN: Thursday, June 3, 2010, at 10 a.m.
WHERE: Dollywood’s Splash Country water adventure park
WHO: Dollywood’s Splash Country & the Sevier Aquatic Club
WHY: As the water warms and families turn to area lakes and pools for summer recreation, Dollywood’s Splash Country and the Sevier Aquatic Club are joining the World Waterpark Association to spread the word that Swimming Lessons Save Lives™ by participating in The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson.
To build awareness about the vital importance of teaching children to swim to help prevent drowning, The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson will take place at waterparks, community pools and aquatic facilities across the country and around the globe on June 3, 2010, at 10 a.m. (EST) in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record™.
Dollywood’s Splash Country guests are invited to participate and help break the Guinness World Record for The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson.