KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Dolly Parton was awarded the title of Person of the Week on ABC’s World News tonight with David Muir Friday evening for the work she did during her Smoky Mountains Rise telethon.
“Finally tonight here, never forgetting where you come from. When Dolly Parton witnessed the devastation from the fires in Tennessee, she used the power of her voice to reach out to her peers. They lined up, and so did countless Americans who wanted to help those in need. Our person of the week: ‘Hi, this is Dolly.’
“Dolly Parton was determined to get her message out. Offering up these words, her explanation of why she chose to do this. Her own family, and her concern for others who lives there, too.
‘My first thought went to my family. Because they all live back there in those hills. We were fortunate. We didn’t have much damage,’ but she was well aware of the hundreds of families who lost everything. ‘These are the woods that I roamed around in as a little kid, and all my people are still there. When you are in a position to help, you should.’
“The telethon airing this week across a host of networks. Kenny Rogers and their duet.
‘Kenny and I go back a long way. He said, what can do to help? I said, get your butt down here and sing “Islands in the stream” with me.’
“The list of names answering her call continued to grow. From hank Williams Jr., To Reba Mcintire. Her Dollywood Foundation and area businesses pledging to provide $1,000 a month for six months to families who lost their homes. And that telethon, smoky mountains rise, helped raise more than $9 million. Late this week, the families lining up to receive their first checks. Steven frank says he will use it to buy clothes.
‘Yeah, this is a huge help. Thank you, Dolly Parton’
‘This has been amazing. Well, I say it’s the least I could do. This is my home. The country music artists are amazing. They’re always willing to help.’
And so we choose those families in need. The Americans who heeded the call, and of course Dolly Parton for using her voice to help. Thank you, Dolly.”