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Dolly Parton, LGBTQ+ Icon, Awarded $100 Million for Charity Work

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Country music icon, budding rock star (her first rock album drops November 18th), and all-around American legend Dolly Parton received The Bezos Award for Courage and Civility on Saturday.The award is given to those who “aim high, find solutions, and always do it with civility,” as one presenter described in a video announcement.The ardent philanthropist donated $1 million for the COVID-19 research behind the Moderna vaccine and her Dollywood Foundation's Imagination Library program has donated more than 186 million books to children around the world.

Dolly, who was just inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, where she performed with Rob Halford on “Jolene,” “gives with her heart.

What she’s done for kids, and literacy, and so many other things, is just incredible,” said Jeff Bezos, referencing the work she’s done via the Imagination Library.The program provides free books to children — internationally — from birth until their first year of school, and also hosts the “buddy system” which promised middle schoolers in Sevier County $500 if they picked a buddy in the 7th or 8th grade and both graduated high school.

Dropout rates in the first year of the successful program went down from more than 30 percent to 6 percent, according to Parton's website.Her Eagle Mountain Sanctuary at her Dollywood amusement park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee homes un-releasable (to the wild) eagles, and she has donated funds to Monroe Carell Jr.

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