Kenny Chesney and the Country Music Association are teaming up to donate half a million dollars to help victims of the recent wildfires that ravaged Sevier County, Tennessee, leaving 14 dead and more than 2,400 homes and businesses damaged or destroyed.

“Growing up in East Tennessee, the only thing greater than the beauty of the region is the heart of the people who live there,” Kenny says. “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 the CMA shares my hope that these families can feel our love at a time of such tragedy.”

Kenny and the CMA will each contribute $250,000, giving a total of $500,000 to the effort. Part of the money is earmarked to help Dolly Parton’s My People Fund, which is giving $1,000 a month for six months to anyone who lost their primary residence in the fire.

Dolly’s Smoky Mountains Rise telethon also will raise money for the fund. It airs next Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on Great American Country, AXS TV, RFD and The Heartland Network, and also will be simulcast on many radio stations.

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