Dolly Parton has donated more than $400,000 to the Friends of the Smokies.
Friends of the Smokies will announce the results of 75th Anniversary Ambassador Dolly Parton’s artistic contribution to Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s important milestone celebration.
Parton and her companies Dollywood and Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Dinner and Show’s support for Great Smoky Mountains National Park will approach $400,000 through a combination of more than $250,000 generated by the sale of Parton’s limited-edition CD “Sha-Kon-O-Hey!- Land of Blue Smoke” and the “Sha-Kon-O-Hey!- Land of Blue Smoke” stage show’s premiere fundraising performance at Dollywood on May 9, 2009, which raised $110,000.
“Way back in 2007, we met at Park Headquarters with some of the folks from Dollywood, and asked them if they thought Dolly would be willing to write a theme song for the 75th Anniversary celebration in 2009,” Friends of the Smokies president Jim Hartsaid. “What she came back with was a whole soundtrack for the anniversary- eight original songs written especially about the Smoky Mountains, all about their history, their beauty, and their people.”
In addition to the success of the “Sha-Kon-O-Hey!- Land of Blue Smoke” collector’s item compact disc of beautifully crafted songs; the musical production won the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions’ Heartbeat Award at the annual Big E Awards ceremony in Las Vegas in November.
Parton also hosted the show’s premiere as a fundraising performance which welcomed more than 1500 hundred Friends of the Smokies’ supporters. Parton performed for the sold-out audience, in addition to posing for photos afterwards with V.I.P. guests at a gourmet reception catered by the Dollywood Food Services team at her Chasing Rainbows Museum.
“When the remainder of the original 45,000 copies are gone, there no plans for more pressings,” says Hart.
In the words of Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson, “We were very blessed to have had Dolly as the 75th Anniversary Ambassador; she brought international goodwill to our celebration. The first day we announced her participation, it hit newspapers as far away as Singapore.”
For more information on purchasing Sha-Kon-O-Hey!- Land of Blue Smoke contact Friends of the Smokies at 800-845-5665.
Friends of the Smokies has raised more than $28 million in support of education, historic preservation, natural resource conservation, and wildlife research and protection. For more information, visit www.FriendsOfTheSmokies.org