KNOXVILLE (School release)-- The Southeastern Conference in cooperation with its 14-member institutions announces the third "We Back Pat" Week, a week-long initiative focused on bringing awareness and recognition to the Pat Summitt Foundation, a fund of East Tennessee Foundation, and its fight against Alzheimer's disease.
During the week of January 19-26, SEC member institutions will offer support of The Pat Summitt Foundation during their home basketball games. At every SEC women's basketball game – 19 games in 13 cities – a variety of efforts including promotional public address announcements and video endorsements will help to increase awareness of the foundation and its mission. The Foundation offers the sale of "We Back Pat" t-shirts and wristbands as well as a number of autographed and specialty items on their website at www.patsummitt.org.
"We are pleased that the Southeastern Conference can once again play a small part in helping Pat reach her goals for The Foundation Fund." said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. "Pat Summitt has been and will continue to be an important part of the SEC family."
Tennessee's home "We Back Pat" game will be on Jan. 23, as the Lady Vols welcome Florida to Knoxville for a 6:30 p.m. contest on SportSouth. UT encourages fans to wear their "We Back Pat" shirts in support of Pat Summitt and her battle with Alzheimer's. "We Back Pat" shirts and wrist bands will be available for purchase at the game.
A public service announcement and a support video from SEC coaches will be played during the game, and on-court check presentations will take place prior to tip-off.
ESPN also has announced that three Southeastern Conference (SEC) women's college basketball games across ESPN2 and ESPNU on Sunday, Jan. 26, will honor the former Tennessee coach as part of the SEC's "We Back Pat" initiative. No. 10 South Carolina will face Vanderbilt on ESPN2 and Auburn will play Florida on ESPNU – both at 2 p.m. – followed by No. 12 Tennessee against Texas A&M at 4 p.m., also on ESPN2.
"I am again honored and humbled that the Southeastern Conference schools are continuing to support the work of the Pat Summitt Foundation's fight against Alzheimer's. This annual SEC "We Back Pat" week brings great public awareness for our cause and helps raise funds for research, patient services and education," said Summitt.
"I want to thank the SEC and all the member institutions who are participating along with ESPN for their support. It means so much to Tyler and me that you have again joined us in our efforts. Together We Will Win."
The Pat Summitt Foundation Fund launched November 27, 2011 by Pat Summitt after her diagnosis of early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type at the age of 59. In a videotaped statement shown during the announcement of the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund, Pat Summitt said, "Tyler and I have decided to join this battle, not just for us, but also for the millions of families affected by this disease. I have always told our players, our greatest opportunities are disguised as our greatest obstacles. It is time to treat this obstacle as an opportunity and a stepping stone to a cure."
The Pat Summitt Foundation Fund will make grants to nonprofits which provide education and awareness of Alzheimer's, its onset and treatment; support services to patients, their families and caregivers; and research to treat, prevent, cure, and ultimately eradicate this disease.
About The Pat Summitt Foundation
The Pat Summitt Foundation, A Fund of East Tennessee Foundation, is dedicated to winning the fight against Alzheimer's disease. Its mission as a grant-making foundation is to advance research for prevention and a cure; to provide hope, care, and critical support for patients, caregivers and families; and to educate the public on the impacts of Alzheimer's disease and the urgent need for a cure.
Pat Summitt, her family and friends have chosen East Tennessee Foundation to receive and manage contributions to Pat's Fund, and to facilitate their grant-making in support of the mission. To learn more about the Foundation visit the website at www.patsummitt.org.
About East Tennessee Foundation
East Tennessee Foundation (ETF) is a public, nonprofit, community foundation created for the purpose of building charitable resources to make communities stronger and lives better through thoughtful giving. It is located at 625 Market Street, Suite 1400, Knoxville, TN 37902. For more information, call 865-524-1223 or visit www.easttennesseefoundation.org.
Visit www.patsummitt.org. Donations benefit The Pat Summitt Foundation, a fund of East Tennessee Foundation.