Luke Bryan Surprises Tennessee Firefighters During Christmas Celebration
Luke Bryan dropped in unexpectedly on some firefighters in Tennessee during their Christmas luncheon on Friday afternoon (Dec. 9).
Nashville news station WKRN reports that the "Fast" singer surprised the crew of the Spring Hill Fire Department while they were celebrating their Christmas at a Mexican restaurant. Spring Hill is a rural community outside of Nashville, and like many other fire departments in Tennessee, the firefighters from Spring Hill pitched in to help fight the deadly fires that swept through Sevier County in and around Gatlinburg, Tenn., in late November.
Bryan spent about 45 minutes with the firefighters, posing for pictures and signing autographs. He also autographed a guitar for them to use in a fundraising auction before he went on his way.
"My family, our thoughts and prayers go out to them in Gatlinburg and that area," the superstar told reporters backstage at Charlie Daniels' 80th Birthday Volunteer Jam in November. "They'll rebuild quickly, but you're just broken-hearted about the loss of life."
The Gatlinburg wildfires took 14 lives and destroyed more than 2400 homes and businesses. Two teenagers have been arrested and charged with aggravated arson in connection with the disaster, which started when they were hiking in Great Smoky Mountains Park and throwing lit matches to the sides of the trail. It is possible they could face additional charges of felony murder and be tried as adults.
Country stars have been quick to come to the aid of residents impacted by the fires, including Kenny Chesney, who partnered with the CMA to donate $500,000 to relief efforts, and Taylor Swift, who teamed with the ACM to give $200,000.
Dolly Parton, whose theme park Dollywood had to be evacuated during the fires, has established the My People Fund, which will give $1,000 per month to families and individuals who lost their homes in the fire. She was raised in the area of the Great Smoky Mountains and has long been an advocate for the local economy and people.
Parton is also organizing the Smoky Mountains Rise benefit concert, which is set to air Tuesday (Dec. 13) simultaneously across multiple television and radio networks. Chris Stapleton, Chris Young, Amy Grant, Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers, Alison Krauss, Chris Janson, Big & Rich, Michael W. Smith, LoCash, Montgomery Gentry and more have been announced to perform during the three-hour program. Viewers can donate by phone at 1-866-CARE-MORE or online at the Dollywood Foundation website.
Contribute by mail to the address below:
My People Fund, c/o Dollywood Foundation
111 Dollywood Lane
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
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