GATLINBURG (WATE) – The streets of Gatlinburg were alive with music, lights, and people coming back to the city, some for the first time. Trips planned to visit the Gatlinburg area continued as planned and for a family from Ohio helping the area became part of their family vacation.
“We’re military families, healthcare workers, first responders, 911 dispatchers, a lot of us that’s just what we do. It just comes second nature to all of us. We decided instead of what we do with the family, since we have each other, we would rather spend doing for others,” said Vicky Jones.
The Domina family planned their trip to Gatlinburg last Christmas and when the wildfires began they weren’t sure if they would keep their reservation. That is, until they realized they could bring donations and volunteer at the Sevier County Humane Society during their trip. They received an outpouring of support from their local Ohio community with donations to bring with them.
“Just tons of people through Facebook and whatnot gave us donations. So we were able to bring down pet supplies for the humane society. Formula, diapers, all different kinds of stuff like that to donate,” said Joanne Steele, Jones’ sister.
There are four generations of Domina’s visiting Gatlinburg this weekend. It was Kenny, Vicky and Joanne’s brother, who suggested they plan a trip in the first place–he calls the area his second home. The family matriarch, Bonnie Domina, oversees the festivities she’s joined by nearly twenty Domina family members all staying in a cabin near Pigeon Forge.
Vicky Jones added, “We grew up, my Dad was a career military man. We grew up watching my Mom and Dad doing for other people. We grew up it was second nature, sure what can we do to help?”
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