Thousands of people continue to rebuild their lives following last November’s devastating wildfires in east Tennessee.
Many lost everything, including their homes, cars, businesses and possessions, particularly in the Gatlinburg and Sevierville areas. Many victims were left with just the clothes they were wearing at the time they fled the fires, which charred over 17,000 acres, claimed 14 lives and injured nearly 200.
The folks at Bristol Motor Speedway are reaching out to give those impacted by the fires a few hours of enjoyment and try to bring some smiles back on their faces.
The track announced Monday that, in conjunction with the Dollywood Foundation’s “My People Fund,” it will give away four tickets per family to several hundred families for the April 23 Food City 500 NASCAR Cup race at BMS to area residents impacted by the fires.
“We wanted to do something nice for these folks that hopefully will help brighten their day,” said Jerry Caldwell, BMS executive vice president and general manager. “It’s incredible to see the outpouring of support from the region and we wanted to do our part to show our neighbors that we care.
“Gatlinburg and Sevier County hold a special place in the hearts of all NASCAR fans and especially all of us here at Bristol Motor Speedway.”
The “My People Fund” is a charitable outreach of singer/actress Dolly Parton’s Dollywood Foundation. It provides those impacted by the fires up to $1,000 per month for up to six months to help victims get back on their feet.
The wildfires literally reached the doorstep of Parton’s Dollywood amusement park, but caused only minimal damage.