By Wes Ramey
Thanks to a combined $500,000 donation from Dixie Stampede and The Dollywood Company, the new Pigeon Forge Boys and Girls Club soon will be reality. Dixie Stampede and Dollywood each donated $250,000 toward the project during the groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility on Thursday afternoon.
The Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains has received an outpouring of support from the local community, but the donations from Dixie Stampede and Dollywood helped push the club beyond its goal of raising $2 million for the facility.
Jim Rule, Dixie Stampede President, and Jamie Parish, Dixie Stampede General Manager, joined Craig Ross, The Dollywood Company President, and Gene Scherrer, Dollywood General Manager, in making the donation during the ceremony.
“The Boys and Girls Club is an amazing example of an organization which makes a profound impact on the community it serves,” said Rule. “This donation is to benefit a group that provides wonderful services to our hosts’ families and is integral to the quality of life here in Pigeon Forge.”
Mark Ross, Boys and Girls Club Executive Director, said the donation enables the club to provide more area children with important services and programs to help them develop into the community leaders of tomorrow.
“Lady Bird Johnson said ‘Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them,’” said Mark Ross. “The outstanding commitment of Dixie Stampede and Dollywood shows just how much they believe in the future of Pigeon Forge.”
The $500,000 donation is in addition to the amount both properties already provide the club.
The new Pigeon Forge Boys and Girls Club facility, which will be located on property that was once the old city park, is slated to include a gym, recreation room, education and technology center, and more.