Dolly Parton received the Bezos Courage and Civility Award worth $100 million from Jeff Bezos on Friday, November 11. Jeff and his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez presented Dolly, 76, with the award for her humanitarian efforts. “The award recognizes leaders who aim high, find solutions, and always do it with civility,” Lauren, 52, said on stage, before Jeff, 58, introduced Dolly and said that the “9 To 5” singer “gives with her heart” in her “incredible” efforts to help others.
Dolly, who looked gorgeous in a sparkly black dress, graciously accepted the award on stage before she delivered a brief but meaningful speech. “When people are in position to help, you should help,” Dolly said to the audience. “And I know I’ve always said I try to put my money where my heart is. I will try my best to do good things with this money,” the county star and philanthropist added.
Lauren further praised Dolly, who is the third person to win this award, after chef Jose Andrés and climate advocate Van Jones, in an interview with CNN. “When you think of Dolly, everyone smiles, right? She is just beaming with light,” Lauren said. “And all she wants to do is bring light into other people’s worlds. And so we couldn’t have thought of someone better than to give this award to Dolly, and we know she’s going to do amazing things with it.”
Dolly was honored for her longtime humanitarian efforts, which includes her $1 million donation to Vanderbilt University Medical Center that helped fund Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine. She also founded the Imagination Library which has donated millions of books to underprivileged children. Dolly told People last year that she’s “addicted to the feeling” of giving back to others. “Knowing that I’m doing something good for someone else,” she added.