Dolly Parton pays surprise visit to senior center, renames facility

By Wade Sheridan
Dolly Parton surprised seniors with a visit to the Sevier County Senior Center. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
1 of 2 | Dolly Parton surprised seniors with a visit to the Sevier County Senior Center. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

May 8 (UPI) -- Dolly Parton made a surprise visit to the Sevier Country Senior Center located in Sevierville, Tenn. where the country legend performed and toured the facility.

Parton was also on hand for a dedication ceremony to rename the location to My People Senior Activity Center in honor of her parents, Robert and Avie Lee Parton.


Parton, 72, joked about her age to those in attendance and said that she was a senior as well.

"I am so excited to be part of this today. Of course, you know I'm a senior too. When I was over in Sevier County High School, I couldn't wait to be a senior, and now that I'm in my second childhood, I'm a senior again," Parton said. "Anyways, I saw one of my old boyfriends from high school. He said, 'Dolly, you look like a million dollars.' I said, 'Well, thank you. That's just about how much it's cost to make me look like this.'"

Parton also discussed her keys for staying young and healthy. "I just keep myself busy, and I think that's the key to staying young, and I'm proud to be a senior citizen. Of course, we all wish we could stay 30 forever, but we can't, so I think it's important that we stay active," she said. "We stay with a good attitude and get out and stay involved, make friends and be whatever, and I think being a part of this whole thing is really great, and it is my pleasure to dedicate this to my people."


As part of her tour, Parton joined in on an exercise class. A video posted from the Senior Center's Facebook page, features Parton onstage being active as visitors are seen lifting weights and dancing along.

The facility was first named after the Fort Sanders Medical Center, now called LeConte Medical Center, due a large donation that was given. Parton got involved and helped with the new name which describes the facility more accurately.

Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters announced plans to expand the facility due to Parton's involvement.

The charitable singer made headlines in March when her non-profit organization donated its 100 millionth book.

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