Dolly’s dream of having her very own theme park came true when Dollywood opened in 1986. But Dolly’s dream wasn’t to have a park with her name on it; it was to provide the people in her beloved home of Sevier County with jobs, opportunities—and sometimes—very real and needed help. Thirty-five seasons later, we still strive as a company to keep up Dolly’s dream of helping our community when we can.
Last winter, the Sevier County Food Ministries knew it would need some extra help in the early of months of 2020. With Dolly’s dream and example in mind, our Dollywood leaders found a way to help by creating a special season pass offer for people who live or work in Sevier County. Season passes were discounted to just $65, with five dollars from every pass sold benefitting the food ministry. As a company, we were blessed to donate $16,445 to the food ministry to feed families in need, especially now during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Our leaders at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa found a way to help the ministry during this critical time, too. The resort donated $3,104 worth of dairy, produce and fresh juice to the food ministry.
Sevier County Food Ministries Director Jim Davis says he is grateful for the help The Dollywood Company has provided during this time.
“This food ministry is all about helping people,” said Jim. “The Dollywood Company knows that, and that’s why their leadership has always supported Sevier County Food Ministry. Dollywood is doing everything it possibly can to help their employees and our community during this situation, and this is part of that.”
But being able to help the community means a lot to our Dollywood family, too. Carol Agee, our Dollywood Community Affairs and Philanthropy Manager, says the opportunity to help our neighbors during this unprecedented time was the right thing to do.
“We already know the early months of the year are difficult for Jim and the food ministry,” Carol explained, “but none of us knew exactly what was going to happen and why the food ministry’s mission would become even more vital to our community. This donation is a prime example of how Sevier County residents have already been helping their neighbors. It is something we all need to focus on doing right now and this is a great start.
“We normally give Jim a check with an ‘official presentation,’ but this time we followed the social distancing protocol and I dropped it off while remaining in my car. Jim always gives each of us a big hug and thank you when we bring the check. While we didn’t get that this time, the smile on Jim’s face said it all.”
As a Dollywood host, I feel so blessed to be part of a work family and over all community that helps our neighbors when they need it most. And thank you, our incredible guests, for helping us continue to be a place where families not only create memories, but where we are truly able to make a difference in our community.