Dolly Parton Corona Virus Cure Donation. Smoky Mountain icon, Dolly Parton helps fund a corona virus vaccine.
A $1 million donation by Sevierville’s favorite daughter, Dolly Parton, was instrumental in assisting the development of the Moderna vaccine, which according to a company spokesperson appears to be 94.5’% effective. The vaccine was created, in part, by the donation that Parton pledged to Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Education Center in April.
Parton was quoted crediting her longtime friend, Dr. Najo Abumrad, who is involved in research at the prestigious university, with telling her about the exciting work going at the school. Motivated by the project, Parton tweeted in April,” I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt toward that research and encourage people that can afford it to make donations.”
Mark Dennison, Vanderbilt professor of pathology, microbiology and immunology, told The New York Times recently that Parton’s donation funded critical, early research and was quoted as saying, “Her money helped us develop the test that we used to first show that the Moderna vaccine was giving people a good immune response that might protect them.”
Dollly’s generosity comes as no surprise to her legions of fans. Her famous smile, big heart and generous spirit have endeared her not only to the Smoky Mountain’s area but indeed to the world.
Her Dollywood theme park provided a renaissance in her childhood home of Sevier County, Tennessee – attracting millions of tourist who help fund hotels, restaurants, shopping and attractions.
In a new book by Sarah Smarsh, “She Comes By It Natural: Dolly Parton the Women Who Lived Her Songs,” Smarsh writes abut Dolly growing up during hard scrabble times in a holler in the Great Smoky Mountains and how she went on to become a feminist icon and a cherished philanthropic symbol of Americana.
Dolly has never forgotten those impoverished days and shares her good fortune in many ways. Inspired by her father’s inability to read, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has distributed some 150 million free books to children around the world. When wildfires swept through the Great Smoky Mountains in 2016, Parton’s foundation gave $10,000 to each of the 900 families affected.
“It is widely discussed that Parton never forgot her roots, never left behind her community – the economy of which now revolves around the (Dollywood) tourist attractions, the children of which receive books and scholarships her foundation provides, the recently incinerated homes of which will be rebuilt with her help,” Smarsh writes.
There is a bronze life-size statue of Dolly in front of the Sevier County courthouse in her native Tennessee, but many think that it should be bigger, much bigger, just like Dolly’s life and influence.