Summitt foundation to fund Alzheimer’s programs

Tennessee coach Pat Summitt and her son, Tyler, have formed a

foundation that will fund grants in support of Alzheimer’s


The pair announced the creation of The Pat Summitt Foundation at

halftime of the sixth-ranked Lady Volunteers’ 76-67 loss to No. 1

Baylor on Sunday. They’re accepting tax-deductible donations for

the foundation at

The Hall of Fame coach announced in August that she had been

diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type but pledged

to continue coaching and show others that they can live their lives

with the disease.

The foundation will offer grants to nonprofit organizations that

research Alzheimer’s, offer treatment to those with the disease or

education about it.

”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,”

Summitt said in a videotaped statement shown at halftime.

Former Lady Vols director of basketball operations Danielle

Donehew will administrate the fund. Donehew currently is the Big

East associate commissioner for women’s basketball.

Donehew said she talked with Geno Auriemma, coach of rival

Connecticut, before deciding to take on the job of the foundation’s

administrator. Auriemma not only gave his blessing but also made

the first donation to the fund, she said.

The Tennessee athletic department has also been raising money

through sales of ”We Back Pat” T-shirts for Alzheimer’s programs

chosen by Summitt. The department presented two $75,000 checks to

Alzheimer’s Tennessee and the UT Medical Center during Sunday’s


As part of the ”We Back Pat” game, players from both Tennessee

and Baylor wore purple ”We Back Pat” shirts while warming up.