Pigeon Forge, Tenn., April 21, 2017 — The Smoky Mountain Opry™ Theater gave $100,000 to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital this week.  Jim Hedrick, co-owner of the Smoky Mountain Opry™ Theater and senior vice president of Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group said, “Our own little employee family has been greatly helped by the amazing medical care they have received from East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and thousands and thousands of children have been helped by the services of this hospital as well.   We are able to donate to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital with one hundred percent of the proceeds from our Christmas Candle Program, whereby, LED candles are purchased by guests who attend “Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry™.” We are really touched and blessed to be able to give to this worthy organization.  It is our honor and our pleasure to donate $100,000 to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.”

“I am stunned,” said Keith Goodwin, chief executive officer of East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.  “We are so blessed, so thankful and so thrilled.”  The hospital plans to use the gift to fund their programs and provide assistance to families who are not able to afford services.

Also present for the check presentation were Michael Headla, general manager of The Smoky Mountain Opry™ Theater; East Tennessee Children’s Hospital (ETCH) vice-presidents: Bruce Anderson, former legal services, Hella Ewing, patient care, Cathy Shuck, legal services, Carlton Long, institutional advancement, and presenting the big check is Jim Hedrick, sr. vice president of Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment and Keith Goodwin, chief executive officer, ETCH.  Surrounded by the Smoky Mountain Opry’s cast, Pigeon Forge Mayor David Wear was on stage along with several Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group’s employees including Morris Turner, IT specialist, Danny Davaney, entertainer at The Comedy Barn® Theater and three of his children and Judy Caudill, general manager of The Comedy Barn® Theater, whose families have a life-time connection with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

“Our company is pleased and honored to be helping East Tennessee Children’s Hospital,” said David Fee, president and chief executive officer of Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment. “It is our way of giving back.  We wish all children good health.  This donation is made possible because of the tremendous support of generous guests who gave to our Christmas Candle Program because they want to help others.”

The Smoky Mountain Opry’s™ Christmas Candle Program is used to support local charitable causes. At intermission before the live nativity scene during the “Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry™” show, guests purchase LED souvenir candles “to hold high in honor of Christ.” The candles are held in honor of the spirit of giving at Christmas. One hundred percent of the proceeds from these candles go to the Smoky Mountain Opry™ Christmas Candle Fund. The Candle Fund has now given over $500,00 to local charities.

The “Smoky Mountain Opry™,” renowned as the must-see variety show in Pigeon Forge, recently reopened for the season with “Feel the Music,” an all-new original show with many new cast members and what Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group says is “their biggest and best show in Pigeon Forge to date.” The show has earned the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence five years in a row for having a 5-star average rating on their site, making the “Smoky Mountain Opry™” show one of the top-performing 10 percent of businesses worldwide on Trip Advisor. The new show features a musical journey through some of music’s greatest hits with country, Broadway, the silver screen, classic rock, gospel and patriotic numbers.

In the Dec. 2014 edition of “Southern Living” magazine, the “Smoky Mountain Opry™” was named the “Don’t Miss Variety Show” in Pigeon Forge.

The show runs at 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday with occasional Sunday evening shows.  It also runs at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays.  For more information, visit http://www.smokymtnopry.com/ or call The Smoky Mountain Opry Theater box office at (865) 428-SHOW (7469) or 1-800-768-1170.

The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group, one of the largest show production companies in the southeast, owns and produces nine shows in the Smoky Mountain area including: The “Smoky Mountain Opry™,” “The Comedy Barn®,” the “Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud™,” “Magic Beyond Belief™” starring Darren Romeo and the “Smith Morning Variety Show” featuring Charlie Bob Smith and friends. In November and December, the company presents “Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry™,” The “Hatfield and McCoy Christmas Disaster Dinner Feud™” and “The Comedy Barn® Christmas Show.” In addition, the company produces a summer seasonal “Amazing Animals®” show at The Comedy Barn® Theater.  +++

East Tennessee Children’s Hospital’s vision is Leading the Way to Healthy Children. Children’s Hospital is a private, independent, not-for-profit pediatric medical center that has served the East Tennessee region for more than 75 years and is certified by the state of Tennessee as a Comprehensive Regional Pediatric Center.